Most people know that there are options for replacing a missing tooth, but they don’t always realize that those options have options too! For example, when patients decide to have a dental bridge placed, their next big decision is the type of dental bridge they want. Of course, the dentist will have their say in which choice is the best, but there are four options for patients to consider:
Ultimately, the choice is up to you! Continue reading this blog to learn the basics about each dental bridge option so you can make the best choice for your smile.
Traditional dental bridges are the most placed bridges because they are the most secure option. Traditional bridges can replace one to three missing teeth in a row with the help of two of your natural, healthy teeth.
The one, two, or three prosthetic teeth are held in place by a tooth on either side of the gap. For example, if you have one missing tooth, the bridge will be made up of one prosthetic tooth with two crowns on both sides of it. The two crowns are placed on top of the neighboring teeth so the prosthetic, or pontic, is suspended between the two. This creates the appearance of a fully restored smile, natural-looking smile.
To place those crowns, your dentist will remove some of the enamel from the teeth. Then, he will take impressions and send them off to a dental lab technician who will carefully craft the dental bridge. After about two weeks, the bridge arrives back at the office, and your dentist will secure it to your teeth.
Similar to a traditional dental bridge, a cantilever bridge requires the dentist to remove enamel but only from one tooth. It can also replace one to three missing teeth. This option isn’t as strong as a traditional bridge, but sometimes it is the only option. Here are some situations in which a cantilever dental bridge may be necessary:
Maryland dental bridges are different from the other two because they don’t require the dentist to remove any of the natural tooth enamel. In place of crowns, Maryland bridges have wings that attach to the backside of the teeth on either side of the gap. This option can replace one to three teeth as well, but it is the weakest type of dental bridge.
Patients choose this option because it is less invasive, less time-consuming, and less painful than the others.
Instead of being supported by the neighboring teeth, an implant-supported bridge is supported by dental implants. The dentist may suggest an implant for each missing tooth or two implants for the outside teeth.
This dental bridge option is extremely strong and realistic looking, but there’s much more to it than that. When a tooth is missing, it becomes susceptible to atrophy; dental implants replace the tooth root to counteract jawbone deterioration so patients no longer have to worry about sagging facial features and the dental issues that often accompany it.
Are you ready to experience all the benefits of replacing a missing tooth? Call our experienced, gentle, and friendly dentist, Dr. Richard L. Rodgers, today at 404-577-6620 to schedule an initial consultation.