A dental bridge is a practical solution for people with one or more missing teeth, and commonly placed for patients that cannot receive a dental implant. Essentially, it is a set of one or more artificial teeth which attaches to healthy teeth on either side of the gap or to dental implants. The false teeth fill the gap created by the missing tooth or teeth in a very natural-looking, secure way.

Components of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are fixed prosthetic devices used to replace one or more missing teeth. They fill in the gap, and by doing this they maintain the alignment and function of the remaining natural teeth, and substitute the function of the missing teeth.

To achieve this, bridges consist of two main components. A pontic is an artificial tooth in the bridge. Pontics can come in a range of materials, but are usually made in a natural tooth colour. The number of pontics will depend on the number of missing teeth. The abutments are what the bridge will be secured to. This can either be natural teeth on either side of the gap or dental implants. 

Types of Dental Bridges

Different types of dental bridges are available; each addresses different needs and situations.

Traditional Dental Bridges

A traditional bridge is the most common type. The pontics are held in place by dental crowns that have been cemented onto the adjacent teeth.

Cantilever Bridges

A cantilever bridge is used when there is only one natural tooth available to support the pontic. It is a less common option and requires careful consideration of the strength of the supporting tooth.

Maryland Bridges

A Maryland dental bridge, also known as a resin bonded bridge, is a conservative alternative to a traditional dental bridge. Maryland dental bridges use metal or porcelain wings to attach the pontics to the adjacent natural teeth, eliminating the need for crowns, and making this a more discreet restoration. This type of bridge requires careful selection and placement and is only used in certain situations.

tooth supported fixed bridge implant crown medically accurate illustration

Implant-Supported Bridges

This type of bridge relies on dental implants for support instead of natural teeth. Implant bridges are useful when the adjacent teeth are not sturdy enough to support the bridge, and eliminate the need for natural teeth to be prepared for crowns. They are especially beneficial when multiple teeth are missing.

Dental Bridge Procedure

Treatment for a dental bridge typically requires two appointments at South Oak Dental.

During the first visit, your dentist will evaluate your oral health, discuss the available bridge options, make recommendations, and determine the best approach for you.

For traditional bridges, the dentist will prepare the abutment teeth to create room for the crowns that will support the bridge. The crowns will be secured by dental cement. For an implant bridge, a separate procedure to place the dental implants will need to have been completed previously. The surgical site from the implants will need to be fully healed.

At South Oak Dental, a digital scan of your teeth will be used to create your custom bridge that fits perfectly in your mouth.

Dr. Sidiura will place a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums while the permanent bridge is being fabricated, as well as for your convenience to fill your gap in the meantime.

Once your custom bridge is ready, it is carefully fitted and adjusted to ensure a proper bite and appearance. Next, your bridge is then cemented into place. 

female-dental-technician working on a dental prosthesis in the d

Is a Dental Bridge Painful?

A dental bridge is not painful at all! The entire procedure takes place under local anesthetic making the procedure virtually painless. Since we are replacing a missing tooth, it can take some time to adjust to the new change in the mouth.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a cost-effective solution to missing teeth, and offer numerous advantages.

By filling in a gap, bridges make it easier to eat and speak, compared to leaving a gap. Dental bridges distribute the force of biting and chewing evenly across teeth, reducing the risk of excessive wear on specific teeth.

Bridges also prevent your remaining teeth from shifting. Bridges help maintain the alignment and spacing of neighbouring teeth. Otherwise, teeth can loosen and shift towards the space; this can even lead to further tooth loss, creating even more significant issues. Choosing a tooth replacement option as soon as possible after losing a tooth or teeth can not only help you avoid these issues, but means you won’t need an orthodontic treatment to correct alignment.

If cared for properly, dental bridges can last for many years, and, other than a floss threader, they don’t require any special care other than normal good oral hygiene and regular dental visits to check them.

Bridges are a secure tooth replacement option that is less invasive than dental implants; some patients are not good candidates for the dental implant procedure or wish to avoid surgery.

The appearance of missing teeth is a source of concern for many people, but a well-crafted bridge effectively fills the gap, providing a natural appearance.

At South Oak Dental, our dentist, Dr.Sidiura, fits patients with bridges to meet their tooth replacement needs. If you have a gap and would like a new dental bridge, our friendly team will take time to ensure a good, comfortable fit, and address any concerns or questions you have. Restore your missing teeth today.