Navigating the World of Dental Bridges

For patients missing one or more consecutive teeth, a dental bridge is often the preferred treatment recommendation, as a bridge can replace multiple missing teeth with a single dental appliance. If you have a gap of missing teeth in your mouth and are considering treatment with a dental bridge or if you already have a dental bridge, it can be helpful to learn more about dental bridges to understand your treatment and how to care for yours once your smile has been restored.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge (also called a fixed partial denture or tooth bridge) is a prosthetic dental appliance that consists of one or two anchors and a pontic that floats in between. Each anchor affixes to a natural tooth or a dental implant, and the anchors support the pontic, which can consist of one or more replacement teeth.

The anchors and pontic are designed to blend in seamlessly with the patient's natural surrounding teeth to restore the form and function of a patient's smile.

How Dental Bridges Are Used in Dentistry

Dental bridges are primarily considered a restorative dental treatment that can restore the form and function of a smile that is incomplete as a result of tooth loss due to injury, disease, or age. Dental bridges are used to restore a patient's smile when a patient has lost one tooth or multiple teeth that are all in a row.

Although it is less common, dental bridges are also sometimes used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a smile. For many patients who do not have restorative needs but want to improve the aesthetic appearance of their smile, alternative treatment options such as dental veneers or crowns are usually preferable.

Different Types of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges come in several different forms and styles. The type of bridge that is right for you depends on your needs and treatment preferences. Some of the most commonly recommended types of dental bridges include:

Traditional Dental Bridge

A traditional dental bridge features anchors made of dental crowns (caps). The crowns are permanently bonded to the two natural teeth neighboring the gap, and the crowns support the artificial teeth (pontic) that float in between.

Implant-Supported Dental Bridge

An implant-supported dental bridge works in the same way as a traditional dental bridge. The primary difference is that the dental crowns are bonded to dental implants, rather than natural teeth. While this is a great option for patients because dental implants can help support the jawbone's health beneath the gap of teeth, the treatment process can take anywhere from six to 18 months.

Cantilever Dental Bridge

A cantilever dental bridge can either be affixed to a natural tooth or a dental implant. The difference with this type of dental bridge is that it has only one anchor point, instead of two on either side of the bridge. This style of dental bridge is used to replace teeth that are missing at the end of an arch.

Maryland Dental Bridge

Also called a resin-bonded bridge, a Maryland dental bridge is the most unique style of bridge because it does not use dental crowns as anchors. Instead, this type of bridge has metal wings on either end that are bonded to the backs of the neighboring teeth using composite resin. These are the least invasive type of bridge, but they are not typically considered strong enough to withstand the chewing force of molars. As a result, they are usually only used to replace front teeth.

How Much Does a Dental or Tooth Bridge Cost?

The cost of a dental bridge can vary greatly. The price can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per tooth or more in the case of an implant-supported bridge. For example, the total treatment cost of an implant-supported bridge will typically cost more than the total cost of a traditional bridge because the patient will first need to undergo the process of getting dental implants.

The price of a dental bridge depends on factors such as the number of teeth being replaced, the location of the teeth being replaced, and the type of bridge the patient is getting.

Dental insurance usually covers at least part of the cost of dental bridges, since they are restorative treatments.

How to Care for Your Dental Bridge: Oral Hygiene for Dental Bridges

To care for your dental bridge, continue practicing your normal oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once per day.

With a dental bridge, it is important to also clean beneath the bridge, along the gum line, and around any wires (on a Maryland bonded bridge). For these care steps, we recommend using a tool like a proxabrush or interdental brush. Additionally, the use of a water flosser will help flush bacteria and other debris from beneath the dental bridge and around its wires.

Dental Bridges at Lax Cruces Dental Solutions

If you're missing one or more teeth in a row, then a dental bridge might be the perfect solution to restoring your smile. To learn more or request a consultation with one of our dentists, we welcome you to contact Las Cruces Dental Solutionstoday.

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