Dental bridges are a tooth replacement option that is made up of multiple dental crowns that are attached together. Some of the crowns go over dental implants or natural teeth, while other take the place of missing teeth but don’t have the tooth root. They are sometimes called fixed partial dentures. Dental bridges are a reliable tooth replacement option that may be used in appropriate situations.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are a tooth replacement option with a long history of success. Before the invention of dental implants, they were the best tooth replacement option available, because they:
- Can replace one or more missing teeth
- Allow you to eat a full diet
- Are permanently fixed in the mouth
- Can restore damaged teeth
- Look natural
- Are long-lasting
Dental bridges can be used to replace multiple lost teeth, though how many teeth can be replaced depends on the position of the lost teeth, the teeth or implants available to support the bridge, and the health of your bite.
Dental bridges are fixed permanently in your mouth. They don’t slip out when you’re eating, talking, or laughing. In addition, dental bridges can be helpful if you have damaged or decayed teeth next to a missing tooth because they provide protective crowns over these teeth.
When properly placed and maintained, they can look natural. People won’t see that one or more of your teeth doesn’t have a root unless you experience receding gums or significant bone loss in the area.
Dental bridges are long-lasting — they can last ten years or more.
Understanding Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are made up of dental crowns and pontics. The dental crowns are designed to fit over natural teeth or dental implants. The pontics look like dental crowns (and like natural teeth), but don’t fit over teeth or implants. Instead, they are attached to the dental crowns and are used to “bridge” the gap between supporting teeth.
Limitations of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are good tooth replacement options, but there are reasons why dental implants are becoming more popular and dental bridges are being used less often.
When using natural teeth to support a dental bridge, those teeth have to have some natural enamel removed. This can reduce their strength and ability to support themselves, which may make them more likely to fail.
Dental bridges are often not good in situations where they are being asked to support powerful bite forces. A dental bridge asks two teeth to perform the work of two, which, if not done properly, can put those teeth at risk. An even riskier situation is a cantilevered bridge, which has only one supporting tooth, and asks that tooth to do the work of two. With proper attention to the health of the bite, there are many situations where dental bridges can do the work asked of them, but not all dentists consider this carefully.
Dental bridges also don’t stimulate the gums and bones under the pontic. This means that the body can remove bone there and the gums can recede if not properly cared for, resulting in a less natural appearance.
If you would like to learn whether a dental bridge is right for your reconstructive dentistry, please call 201-343-4044 or email the River Edge Dental Center for TMJ, Sleep Apnea, & Reconstructive Dentistry today.
Before and After Dental Bridge Photos