Understanding Dental Bridges

Posted on: 5 November 2019

The loss of a tooth may be due to dental decay, a medical issue, or an unexpected injury. The missing tooth can present problems with the look and functionality of the teeth. People with missing teeth may find it difficult to chew properly. They may also feel uncomfortable with the look of their smile.

As a person seeks to restore one or more missing teeth, their dentist may present multiple options, including a dental bridge. Here is some information about dental bridges to help you understand the appliance.

Are There Multiple Types of Dental Bridges?

There are several types of dental bridges. They include:

  1. Traditional bridges. A traditional bridge includes false teeth and dental crowns. The crowns are bonded to the abutment teeth, which surround the space left by the missing tooth.
  2. Cantilever bridges. A cantilever bridge includes only one dental crown. It is often used when only one abutment tooth is available.
  3. Maryland bridges. A Maryland bridge doesn't use crowns to secure it in place. Instead, the bridge uses its framework to hold the false tooth in position. Thus, Maryland bridges are not as secure in the mouth as other fixed bridges.
  4. Implant-supported bridges. An implant-supported bridge is held in the mouth by a connection to dental implants. The implants, which rest in the jawbone like natural tooth roots, secure the bridge in place. 

How Are Most Dental Bridges Placed?

People may believe that the placement of a bridge is an invasive procedure. Although the dentist may use local anesthesia to numb your mouth, the procedure does not involve the cutting of the gums. 

The dentist creates molds or impressions of your mouth to guide the fabrication of the bridge. As a result, the customized device should fit comfortably in position. 

Once the bridge is created, the dentist removes a bit of tooth material from any abutment teeth that will be used to secure the bridge in the mouth. The removal of the enamel helps the bridge fit flush with the bite line established by the patient's remaining natural teeth. 

After the abutment teeth are prepared, the bridge crowns are cemented to the teeth. If dental implants are used to support the bridge, the bridge is attached to the connectors on the implants.

How Long Is the Recovery After a Bridge Placement?

After a bridge is placed, you can typically eat immediately. Thus, the recovery period is minimal.

For more information, contact a dental clinic like Lake Pleasant Dentistry.