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Here is an interesting debate about types of dental bridges and their pros and cons
Losing natural teeth is a painful experience that causes multiple psychological and physiological issues. Loss of teeth can result in incomplete chewing, improper digestion, and deformation of facial structure. Tooth loss can also make people conscious of the gaping holes in the mouth and they shy away from speaking and smiling in the public eye. To overcome the issue of tooth loss especially for elder patients, dentists recommend the use of dental bridges.
A dental bridge is a structure that is used to replace missing teeth. It is made of multiple artificial teeth that are fused together and are placed over existing teeth or dental implants. They ‘bridge’ the gap between existing natural teeth, hence the name dental bridges.
The artificial teeth are called pontics. The dental bridge for each patient contains the same number of pontics as the total number of missing teeth. The pontics are customized to match the size and shape of the existing teeth. Pontics are embedded into the teeth that are adjacent to the missing teeth. These teeth are called abutment teeth.
Because of their practical use and natural appearance, dentists prefer them over partial dentures, which are also used as replacements for missing teeth. Nowadays, dental bridges are made of different materials such as gold, porcelain, or alloys.
Types of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are divided into the following types. This division is based on how the pontics are anchored into the abutment teeth:
- Traditional bridges are anchored into the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap. To fix the bridge, the abutment teeth are shaved a little and they are covered with crowns. This is done to add strength and security to the abutment teeth for better placement of a traditional bridge.
- For the placement of Maryland bridge, a metal structure is fixed to the back of the teeth. This structure acts as a support for the bridge and no changes are done to the existing teeth.
- In this type of bridge, a dental implant is placed on both sides of the bridge. The implant is a small structure with a metal root that fits into the jawbone. Implant-supported teeth are most commonly used when three or more teeth need to be replaced in the same row. The implants add stability to the bridge.
Pros of Dental Bridges
- They bring back the natural look of the mouth and restore normal functions of the mouth such as chewing and biting
- They enable the patient to speak normally with proper enunciation
- Teeth loss causes the gradual dissolution of bone structure from the jaw. Dental implants restore the facial structure and prevent the loss of jaw bone.
- They prevent the adjacent teeth from moving into the gap caused due to tooth loss.
Cons of Dental Bridges
Before opting for dental bridges, be mindful of these cons and discuss them with your dentist.
- While placing dental bridges, some damage may be caused to abutment teeth.
- With traditional bridges, if the crowns are not fit properly, bacteria and plaque can fill in the spaces and cause dental decay.
- The crowns may alter the structure of the teeth which affects the bite.
For more information on dental bridges, consult the expert dentists at Icon Dental Center. We will guide you about the best options available and customize the treatment to meet your needs. Call us at 206-225-2882. Our offices are located in Seattle, Everett.