When you hear the word “bridge” you tend to immediately think of a structure that is grounded on either side of a river or other body of water, allowing you to walk or drive across. In a dental context, while there are no bodies of water involved, the principle is similar. A bridge crosses the space left by a missing tooth or other dental gap and helps secure the teeth on either side. This serves a variety of purposes:
- Restoring one’s ability to properly chew or speak
- Restoring the appearance of a full, healthy smile
- Preventing further widening of the space
- Protecting against infection or decay
- Maryland-bonded bridges – This type of bridge is composed of resin/plastic teeth, supported by a metal framework that is secured on the gums. Metal flanges on either end are then secured to your existing abutment teeth.
- Cantilever bridges – These bridges are used in situations where only one abutment tooth is available for the bridge to be secured to.
- Traditional bridges – The most common type of bridge available, this involves two abutment teeth and one or more pontic teeth. They are often formed of porcelain-fused-metal for maximum strength while also supplying a natural tooth appearance.