Different Types of Dental Bridges Explained

Understanding the differences in dental bridges

Dental bridges may be part of a restorative dental care plan

Dental bridges have long been used in dentistry as a component in the smile restoration process. A dental bridge is a device that is created to bridge the gap created when one tooth, or multiple teeth, are lost. The average dental bridge consists of two crowns on either side of the gap that fit onto the adjoining teeth, also called abutment teeth. False teeth are anchored to the bridge and are used to fill the gaps created by the lost teeth. Those false teeth are known as pontics in dental terminology, and they can be fashioned from a variety of materials including gold, silver, composite, or porcelain.

Dental bridges represent one of the most important tools a dentist has for smile restoration. They can help fill the gaps left by lost teeth, maintain the natural shape of the mouth and face, restore proper chewing and speaking function, prevent adjoining teeth from crowding into the gaps, and balance biting and chewing force in the mouth.

If you have lost teeth, a dentist in Carmichael, CA, can create a bridge that will suit your needs. Because bridges can fulfill a diversity of purposes in dental practice, they must come in diverse formats to meet those needs. There are four primary types of dental bridges: traditional bridges, cantilever bridges, Maryland bonded bridges, and implant-supported bridges. Keep reading to learn more about each type of bridge and how they are used in modern dentistry.

Traditional Bridge
The most common type of bridge, the traditional bridge, has been in use for decades. It is also the simplest type of bridge. A traditional bridge consists of crowns for each of the natural abutment teeth on either side of the gap that support one or more pontics that fill the gap. It can be used if the abutment teeth on both sides of the gap are sturdy and in good shape. Traditional bridges are usually made using porcelain crowns and pontics bonded to ceramic or metal.

Cantilever Bridge
A cantilever bridge is quite similar to a traditional bridge in its composition and structure. The primary difference between cantilever bridges and traditional bridges is the way they are anchored. While a traditional bridge is anchored to the two natural teeth on either side of the gap, a cantilever bridge is anchored to and supported by only one tooth on one side of the gap. Cantilever bridges are commonly used when there is only one solid tooth available next to a gap rather than the two required for a traditional crown.

Dental bridge

Maryland Bonded Bridge
Maryland bonded bridges share some characteristics with other bridge types, but they are quite different overall. In terms of function, they provide a framework for pontics to be anchored and suspended in the gaps left by lost teeth. Like a traditional bridge, they require that there are two natural teeth on either side of the gap to be used to anchors the bridge. Their form is where they break with other more common bridge types. While traditional and cantilever bridges require crowns that are bonded to the abutment teeth on either side of the gap, Maryland bonded bridges are anchored to the abutment teeth not with crowns, but with metal and porcelain framework that is cemented to the back of the abutment teeth.

Implant-Supported Bridge
While the other three types of bridges require natural teeth on either side of the gap that are used for anchoring the bridge, an implant-supported bridge uses a different mechanism altogether. Instead of relying on abutment teeth and crowns to support the bridge, an implant-supported bridge utilizes dental implants that are embedded in the gaps. Those implants become the structure that holds up the bridge and pontics. It is an extremely sturdy style of bridge, but it often requires two procedures to install. The first component involves placing implants in the jawbone, and the second procedure includes the placement of the bridge.

Dental implants provide a useful tool used by providers of dental services that can restore smiles and return function that is lost when there are gaps between the teeth. To learn more about the types of dental bridges and how they are used, visit Now Dental today.

Now Dental is conveniently located at 6500 Coyle Ave #6, Carmichael, CA 95608, just across from Mercy San Juan Medical Center. Cross Street: Dewey Dr.