What Are Dental Bridges and Who Needs Them?

A missing tooth due to natural causes, medical conditions, or injury may have you exploring different options to restore your smile. After all, you do not want to live with an unsightly gap in your mouth. Besides, a missing tooth or teeth can cause discomfort in your jaw, pain when chewing, or other problems resulting from a change to your bite. 


Fortunately, you have several solutions to this problem. One of the most common solutions is a dental bridge. But before you get a dental bridge, you need to understand what it is, how it works, and whether it is the right solution. 


What Are Dental Bridges?


A dental bridge is an artificial tooth made up of two or more dental crowns fixed on both sides of the gap. It bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. The dental bridge uses a fake tooth to take the missing tooth’s place in the mouth. 


The natural teeth adjacent to the abutments, or missing teeth, provide support for the artificial tooth with the help of crowns placed onto the natural teeth. You can get dental bridges to replace more than one tooth. But as the number of false teeth increases, so does the number of abutments.


Types of Dental Bridges


If you have one or more missing teeth, your dentist will recommend one of the following types of bridges:


  • Traditional Bridges


These consist of one or more artificial teeth held in place by crowns cemented onto abutment teeth on each side of the gap. They are the most popular type of dental bridge. They require natural teeth on either side of the gap resulting from the missing tooth. Also, they are strong enough to replace molars.


  • Cantilever Bridges


These are like traditional dental bridges, with one exception. The dentist attaches the artificial tooth to an abutment on just one side of the gap instead of both sides. Hence, they only require just one natural tooth adjacent to the gap resulting from the missing tooth.


  • Implant-supported Dental Bridges


This dental bridge gets its support from an implant rather than tooth abutments. Your dentist will surgically place the implant in your jawbone before cupping it with a dental crown. 


  • Maryland Dental Bridges

These bridges use abutments on either side of the false tooth to support the bridge, just like traditional bridges. But unlike conventional bridges, they do not use dental crowns. Instead, a framework of porcelain and metal extensions cemented onto the abutment teeth supports the false tooth.


Who Needs Dental Bridges?


Dental bridges can provide an ideal solution if you have a missing tooth or several missing teeth. Your teeth work together. So, if you have one or more missing teeth, the teeth adjacent to the gap can start moving into the gap. That can lead to bite problems, self-consciousness, chewing difficulties, and pain caused by excess stress on your jaw and teeth.




Are you missing one or more teeth? If so, you are not alone. The American College of Prosthodontics estimates that roughly 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. So talk to your dentist about the options available to restore your smile. 


For more on dental bridges, visit Reaves Dental at our New Hartford, New York office. Call 315-736-0139 today to schedule an appointment.

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