Dental Bridge – Replacing Missing Teeth

Dental Bridge – Replacing Missing Teeth

A dental bridge is a false tooth attached to crowns on either side of a gap to replace a missing tooth.  A bridge consists of two crowns on the neighboring teeth with a false tooth, called a pontic, between them which bridges the gap.  A bridge can be used on natural teeth or attached to an implant.  You, therefore, only need to have two implant screws to support a three-unit bridge.

What Is A Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a prosthetic device used to replace missing teeth. It consists of two crowns placed on the surrounding teeth with a false tooth in between them. Bridges not only improve the appearance of your smile but can also restore your ability to speak and eat properly.

Dental bridges can be made from various materials, including porcelain, metal or gold alloys, and composite resin. Depending on your preference, you may choose one material over another for aesthetic reasons or because it is suited to the particular application. Your dentist will help you determine which type best suits your needs based on the specific situation and characteristics of your mouth.

Placing a bridge usually takes place over two visits to the dentist’s office. During the first visit, any necessary preparation work will take place, such as reshaping existing teeth if needed.

Dental Bridge Procedure

A dental bridge procedure is a restorative treatment to replace one or more missing teeth. It bridges the gap between two healthy teeth and can last up to 15 years with proper care and maintenance. This procedure starts with taking an impression of the area so that the bridge can fit perfectly within your mouth.

The procedure for getting a dental bridge made is almost the same as for a crown.  The only difference is that the procedure will take a little longer as two teeth need to be drilled instead of just one.

During the dental bridge procedure, any decay will be removed, and the surrounding teeth will be prepared for crowns. The bridge consists of two crowns on either side of the gap, with a false tooth between them. This false tooth is made from porcelain or ceramic materials that match your natural smile perfectly. Once it’s in place, your dentist will use a special adhesive to fix it in position permanently.

What Is A Cantilever Bridge?

A cantilever bridge uses two teeth on one side of the gap with a pontic attached to the end.  Cantilever bridges are used when only healthy teeth are strong enough on one side of the gap.

A cantilever bridge is a bridge structure that uses two cantilevers or structures supported only at one end to span an area. Cantilever bridges are commonly constructed in areas where other forms of support may be challenging to install or impractical for specific designs. This type of bridge has been used since the 19th century and is still popular today.

In dentistry, a cantilever bridge is an artificial tooth replacement option used when adjacent teeth are on only one side of the gap created by missing teeth. The false tooth is attached to the adjacent teeth on one side using metal bands that extend across the gap and anchor onto them. This helps to distribute pressure evenly across both sides of the restoration, making it more stable than traditional bridges or partial dentures.

What Is a Maryland Bridge?

A Maryland bridge is a dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. The bridge comprises two small wings on either side of the replacement tooth, which are bonded directly onto the existing teeth. This type of bridge can be used when there are healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth and can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.

A Maryland bridge is a pontic with two wings attached cemented (glued) to the back of the teeth on either side.  This type of bridge is a far more conservative way to replace a missing tooth, as only minimal drilling needs to be done on the natural teeth.  Maryland bridges are not as strong as normal dental bridges and can only be used on front teeth where there is less pressure from biting.

The process starts with an impression of the affected area, followed by preparation work on the adjacent natural teeth to create space for the bonding material. Once complete, a porcelain or ceramic crown will be placed within this space to create a natural-looking smile. Finally, two metal bands are attached to each crown end, which will be bonded directly onto the adjacent natural teeth. This ensures a secure fit that won’t move around or become loose over time.

How Do I Take Care Of A Dental Bridge?

You can brush your bridge twice daily, just as you would the rest of your teeth, but you will also need to clean under the false tooth.  As a dental bridge is permanently cemented into your mouth, it will need to be cleaned using Super Floss, as it can’t be done with normal floss.  Super Floss has a stiff end attached to a fluffy piece, with an ordinary piece of floss on the other end.  The stiff end must be threaded under the false tooth and pulled through to the fluffy part.  This fluffy part can be swept under the pontic to clean the area between the bridge and your gums.  The gaps on either side of the bridge can be cleaned using normal floss.

Problems With Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a common and effective way to replace missing teeth. However, problems can arise when dental bridges are not correctly fitted or maintained. From complications of the procedure to a lack of proper care, several issues can lead to problems with dental bridges.
The first potential problem is the failure of the bridge to fit correctly in the mouth. If a bridge does not fit well, it can cause pain and discomfort for the patient and interfere with their ability to bite and chew properly. Additionally, an ill-fitting bridge may create gaps between teeth that allow food particles to get stuck beneath them and cause decay or infection over time. Any dental work must be done by an experienced professional who will ensure a proper fit for your bridges.

The same problems that occur with crowns can also occur with bridges.  The major problem with a bridge is if anything happens to the teeth supporting it, it can compromise the whole bridge.  For example, if the root in one of the teeth splits, you will lose that tooth and the false tooth, and the other tooth will require a new crown.

Dental Bridge vs. Implant

The main advantage of an implant over a dental bridge is that an implant is free-standing and does not rely on other teeth to support it.  To get a bridge, the supporting teeth need to file back to make space for it, weakening them.  If the teeth do not already have fillings, it is a shame to file them down for no reason.

Implants are much easier to clean as you can floss them just like your other teeth and not use Super Floss, which can be very tricky for some.  In the short term, a bridge appeals to many as it seems like the cheaper option.  But as bridges sometimes only last ten years or so, you need to consider how much going the bridge route will cost you long-term compared to getting an implant.


Dental bridges are a great option to replace missing or damaged teeth. They are affordable and long-lasting, helping you maintain your natural smile. Your dentist can help you decide if a dental bridge is the right solution. It is vital to keep up with proper oral health care and regular visits to the dentist to ensure that your dental bridge remains strong and secure for many years to come.

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