If your teeth have been damaged by decay, loss, or trauma, a dental bridge can help restore your dental health.
Dental bridges are a popular option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Several types of bridges are available, but all of them work by attaching to surrounding teeth to support replacement teeth.
What is a dental bridge?
A bridge is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It fills the gap between two teeth by connecting two dental crowns, making them function as one. Dentists usually recommend a dental bridge where there are enough healthy surrounding teeth to adequately support it.
How do dental bridges work?
Bridges are dental restorations that connect two natural teeth to fill the gaps left by one or more missing teeth. Unlike dentures, which attach to your gums, dental bridges fit over your existing teeth, using natural tooth structure for support.
Your dentist will craft your bridge out of a material similar to the color of your healthy teeth, then anchor it on either side of the gap in your smile.
Are there different types of dental bridges?
Different types of dental bridges are available to replace a tooth or teeth. All dental bridges have the same goal—to replace missing teeth and preserve the surrounding teeth and gums.
The type of bridge used depends on your specific needs, the location of the gap in your smile, and whether you have existing teeth on either side of the gap.
There are three types of dental bridges:
- Fixed bridge - A fixed bridge is permanently cemented in place. It connects two teeth or a replacement tooth to the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth.
- Removable bridge - This type of bridge is typically made from a combination of porcelain and metal, such as gold, titanium, or steel. This means that this type of bridge can be adjusted for comfort and removed for cleaning purposes if desired.
- Cantilever bridge - This type of dental bridge is commonly referred to as a "Maryland" bridge because it was invented in Maryland by Dr. Albert Togni in 1969. The cantilever bridge resembles a retainer with one end attached to your natural teeth at the gum line, while the other end supports one or more false teeth that fill in the gap made by the missing tooth or teeth.
How long do they last?
Many factors affect the lifespan of dental bridges, including the position and condition of the teeth surrounding them, your overall oral health, and your ability to care for your bridgework properly. On average, you can expect a dental bridge to last between 5-10 years—sometimes longer.
While there is no expiration date for dental bridges, they'll need to be repaired if you begin to notice that your bite is off or that your gums are becoming irritated around the area of the bridge. It's a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist at least once every year to ensure that your bridge is in good working order.
Dental bridges can help you get your smile back. Just make sure that you take care of them and your overall oral health so that they last a long time.
Learn More About Dental Bridges
Choosing the right solution starts with knowing what options are available to replace missing teeth. If you’re interested in a dental bridge, contact us today at 813-994-8999 to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Luz Hernandez.