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A dental bridge is a common, affordable, time-tested, and low-risk treatment for missing teeth. The dental bridge is so-called because it bridges the gap created when teeth are lost. The typical bridge comprises one or more artificial teeth, known as pontics, held in place by two dental crowns or abutments.
Though the replacement teeth used in bridges can be made from various materials, including silver amalgam or gold, they are commonly made from porcelain for aesthetic considerations.
Both temporary and fixed bridges are effective solutions for replacing missing teeth, but fixed bridges offer multiple benefits to patients, such as:
Traditional fixed bridges create a filler tooth supported by crowns placed over healthy teeth on either side of the gap in the mouth to keep the bridge in place. It is the most common type of bridge, and it is typically made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
They are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. It is not very common anymore and is not recommended in the back of the mouth, where it can put too much force on other teeth and damage them.
Maryland bonded bridges, also known as resin-bonded bridges, are commonly used to replace front teeth. They are made from a metal framework with porcelain fused to metal teeth. The pontic is fixed to the adjacent healthy teeth with metal or porcelain wings on either side of the bridge, fixed behind the adjacent teeth. The Maryland bridge is a more conservative alternative than the traditional fixed bridge because it does not require reshaping and crowns on the adjacent teeth. Instead, the metal wings fit behind the abutment teeth.
Approximately 40% of your jawbone structure will be gone after wearing your dentures for just six months. You will begin to notice that your dentures aren’t fitting the way they used to after a few years of wearing them as well. This is because over the years, the structure of your jawbone becomes unable to support your denture. The same thing happens even if you are wearing a partial denture.
Once the structure of your jawbone is gone, your options for tooth replacement become very limited. Dental implants can stop bone loss and provide your mouth with natural looking teeth before the jawbone structure is completely lost.