Dental bridges are a fixed solution for missing teeth that can help maintain the structural integrity of your smile. Here, our Calgary dentists review the most common types of dental bridges.
Traditional Dental Bridges
Traditional bridges consist of one or more pontics (false teeth), which are affixed to dental crowns on either side of the gap.
To place a traditional bridge, there need to be natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by your missing teeth. Your dentist will prepare the adjacent teeth by removing their enamel so that the crowns can be cemented on top.
Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges, but the false teeth that make up the bridge are supported by an abutment on one side only.
Much like with traditional bridges, your dentist will prepare the adjacent tooth to support the bridge by removing its enamel and placing a crown. The benefit of a cantilever bridge is that only one tooth needs to have a cap placed on it, rather than two. However, as you may expect, these types of bridges are not quite as secure as traditional bridges are.
Maryland bridges are an even more conservative alternative to traditional bridges. They consist of a pontic that is held in place by a metal or porcelain framework. This framework is bonded onto the the teeth on either side of the gap. Because this type of bridge doesn't require a dental bridge, no dental enamel needs to be removed.
While Maryland bridges are more conservative than traditional bridges, their strength is limited to that of the resin that holds them in place. As a result, they may eventually come loose in areas of the mouth where the teeth are subjected to significant biting force.
Instead of being supported by crowns or frameworks, implant-supported bridges are held in place by dental implants.
Because these bridges are secured by dental implants, they provide similar security and comfort to traditional bridges. However, the procedure required to place them is somewhat more invasive. It includes two surgeries – the first to place the implants, and the second to attach the bridge.