A dental bridge is a tried-and-true treatment for replacing consecutively missing teeth. This restoration is usually recommended for individuals missing up to three teeth in a row. At our Corpus Christi, TX, practice, our doctors offer several types of dental bridges. Here, our team will explore these in more detail, including dental bridges for front teeth and back teeth.
Dental Bridges for Front Teeth
Replacing the front teeth requires an artistic eye. The dental bridge must be both functional and aesthetically pleasing since it is in the smile zone. Because the front teeth do not endure as much chewing pressure as the back teeth, there are a few different options for this area. Here are a few common dental bridges for front teeth:
- Conventional bridges: A traditional bridge rests upon the natural teeth on either side of the gap. This restoration consists of one or more artificial teeth in between two dental crowns. Once the crowns are bonded into place, the artificial teeth fill the space left behind. In order to place the bridge, the supporting teeth must be altered. This requires some enamel removal.
- Cantilever bridges: This restoration is similar to a traditional bridge. The main difference is that a Cantilever is only supported by one tooth, not two. When the crown is seated, the overhanging artificial tooth completes the smile. Cantilever bridges are only recommended in certain situations. They cannot be placed in areas of extreme bite force, but they are useful for preserving natural tooth structure since only one tooth must be altered.
- Maryland bonded bridges: Sometimes tooth alteration can be avoided with a Maryland bonded bridge. Instead of crowns, this restoration consists of resin wings which are bonded to the backs of the adjacent teeth. This preserves existing tooth structure and eliminates the need for enamel removal. Maryland bridges are only recommended for individuals who are missing one tooth. They are not ideal for everyone, as they do not offer the same durability and strength as traditional bridges.
Dental Bridges for Back Teeth
In general, Cantilever and Maryland bridges are not used to replace back teeth. Missing molars or premolars should be replaced with traditional bridges, as they are designed to withstand strong chewing forces.
Dental Implant-supported Bridges
Today, implants are considered the most reliable teeth replacement option. An implant-supported bridge rests atop implant posts instead of natural teeth. As a result, natural tooth structure is preserved. Furthermore, implants stimulate the jawbone and prevent atrophy, a common byproduct of tooth loss.
To qualify for dental implants, individuals must have healthy, strong jawbone tissue. Our doctors can help you determine if an implant-supported bridge is the right option for you.
Dental Bridge Materials
Dental bridges can be crafted from a variety of materials. All-porcelain restorations are popular because they mimic natural tooth enamel. If additional strength is necessary, a porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) bridge provides a durable metal substructure for long-lasting results.
Schedule a Dental Bridge Consultation Today
Missing teeth can have a negative impact on your oral health, chewing function, and appearance. A dental bridge can fill in the gaps, offering stability for improved health and function. To learn more, contact us online or give us a call at (361) 992-3011.