Understanding Dental Bridges

Posted on: 24 July 2020

Dental bridges are a type of dental treatment used to treat missing teeth alongside other alternatives like dental implants and dentures.

Dentures and Dental Implants

  • Dentures — These are considered the cheapest; they consist of artificial teeth that are attached to a plastic base inserted in your mouth. Artificial teeth are usually attached to the position where you have missing teeth. A denture with few teeth is known as a partial denture, while a denture with a full set of upper or lower teeth is known as a full denture. This means that dentures can be used regardless of the number of teeth you have missing.
  • Dental Implants — These involve dental surgery because they entail drilling metallic implants in your jawbone and attaching abutments and crowns — a process that can take months. Dental implants provide the most natural appearance, which is why they are the most expensive.

Dental Bridges

These can be cheap or expensive, which depends on how many bridges are being inserted. The procedure is mostly done in sets of three teeth, where an artificial tooth is supported by two adjacent natural or artificial teeth. Here are the four methods in which dental bridges can be attached:

  • The traditional method — Here, the two teeth that are adjacent to the gap are stripped of their enamel to make it possible to fit a crown. The pontic (artificial tooth to fill the gap) is fused on opposite sides with crowns, which are then attached to the enamel-stripped natural teeth; they should fit like a puzzle. One crown is attached to one of the enamel-stripped adjacent teeth, the pontic fills the gap and the third crown is attached to the second enamel-stripped adjacent tooth.
  • The cantilever method — This method resembles the traditional method, but instead of using the two adjacent teeth, one adjacent tooth is used. The tooth is stripped of its enamel and then one crown is fused with the pontic instead of two. The crown is then attached to one adjacent tooth and the pontic fills the gap.
  • The Maryland method — Instead of stripping the enamels of the adjacent teeth, the pontic is fitted with metal or porcelain frameworks that are attached behind the adjacent teeth to offer support.
  • The implant-supported method — This is a combination of dental implants and the traditional or cantilever method. If you have three or two missing teeth that are next to each other, one or two can be treated using dental implants, where the crown for the dental implants can be fused with a pontic. 

For more information about dental bridges, contact a dentist.