A missing tooth is more than just an aesthetic issue. When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth - and the teeth in the opposite jaw - may shift to adjust to the new space.
What is a bridge, and who needs one?
A bridge is an artificial that is used to replace missing teeth. It can be made from porcelain, gold, or allows (or a combination of the three) and is bonded to surrounding teeth for support. Dental bridges are strong and reliable and in most cases look and feel like natural teeth. In addition to filling out your smile, a bridge can help balance bite pressure, and maintain facial symmetry.
What will happen if I don’t get a dental bridge?
If you don’t replace your missing tooth, the bone of your jaw may shrink. This can affect the shape of your lips and cheeks and create a “sunken-in” or droopy look that ages your face. If your surrounding teeth tilt and drift, this also makes them harder to clean. Because of this, missing teeth can actually put you at higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Types of bridges
There are four main types of dental bridges: traditional, Maryland, cantilever, and implant-supported bridges.
Traditional dental bridge
A traditional dental bridge consists of a false tooth that is held in place by dental crowns cemented to both surrounding teeth. This is the most popular type of dental bridge and can be used if you have natural teeth on both sides of your missing tooth.
Maryland dental bridge
Similar to a traditional bridge, Maryland dental bridges attach to two natural teeth on either side of your missing tooth. The difference is that while traditional bridges are attached with dental crowns, a Maryland bridge is bonded to the surrounding teeth using a metal or porcelain framework.
Cantilever dental bridge
A cantilever dental bridge is held in place by a dental crown that is cemented to only one tooth. This type of bridge is useful if you only have one natural tooth surrounding your missing tooth.
Implant-supported dental bridge
Implant-supported bridges use dental implants as opposed to crowns or frameworks. While it is the strongest and most stable system, an implant-supported bridge often requires multiple procedures - one to embed the implants in the jaw, and one to place the bridge.
Are you missing one or more teeth?
A bridge could be the answer to your problems. You can discuss potential treatment options with Dr. Sanchez at your free consultation.