A dental bridge does just what it sounds like it does: It bridges the gap between missing teeth. There are a few options for replacing missing teeth, so how do you know when a bridge is the right solution? Take a few minutes to read what Dr. Ellis of Virginia H. Ellis, DDS Dental Corp. in Orinda, California, has to say about the advantages of a dental bridge.
Bridges address cosmetic and oral health concerns
Let’s face it: A missing tooth – or a few – is not aesthetically pleasing. But, beyond how your teeth look if you have gaps, not replacing missing teeth can negatively affect your oral health, too. A custom-made dental bridge addresses both the cosmetic and health concerns of missing teeth.
A bridge is a false tooth, or pontic, that stays in place with support of teeth adjacent to the gap in your smile. Replacing missing teeth with a bridge will not only make your smile look better, but the false tooth will help prevent your healthy teeth from shifting into the gap. In the long run, this will mean better oral health and less extensive dental work.
Types of dental bridges
There are several types of dental bridges, and Dr. Ellis can help you choose the one that is ideal for your missing teeth.
A traditional bridge is a single unit that consists of two crowns and a false tooth. The two crowns go on the teeth on both sides of the gap, and they support a false tooth that fills in the gap. Dr. Ellis cements the crowns to your teeth in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, and she designs the crowns and false tooth to seamlessly match your natural teeth. You care for your new dental bridge as you would your whole mouth, by brushing and flossing and by going to your regular dental checkups.
A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, but instead of securing the false tooth between two adjacent teeth, the cantilever bridge is supported by only one adjacent tooth.
A Maryland bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, only instead of using crowns to secure the false tooth to the adjacent teeth, a Maryland bridge uses a metal or porcelain framework. If you opt for a Maryland bridge, Dr. Ellis attaches the false tooth to your natural teeth by bonding the framework to the back of your supporting teeth. The framework isn’t visible from the front, so when you smile, others will only see your new tooth, which is held securely in place from behind.
Instead of using crowns or a framework, implant supported bridges use dental implants as their support system. Dr. Ellis may recommend implant supported bridges if you have more than one missing tooth.
For example, if you have three missing teeth in a row, Dr. Ellis would insert two dental implants with a false tooth in between. The implants, each of which would consist of a new titanium root and a crown, would be inserted permanently into your jaw and would securely hold the false tooth in the middle. Implant-supported bridges are the strongest dental bridge option.
Bridges can improve your oral health
Regardless of the type of bridge, they each come with advantages for improving your oral health and confidence. With a custom dental bridge, you can expect:
- A restored smile
- Ease of eating and speaking
- A way to maintain your natural facial structure
- A way to prevent tooth decay
- A way to prevent gum disease
If you have one or more missing teeth, a bridge could be the solution you need. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Virginia H. Ellis, DDS Dental Corp. today.