If you’re missing a row of teeth in the smile zone, it can detract from your overall appearance. It can also have a negative impact on bite function and oral health. The bottom front teeth are important for biting food, but they don’t have to withstand excessive chewing forces as the back teeth do. For this reason, several types of bridges can be considered for this area. Today, Dr. Richard Rodgers and our Atlanta team explore four bridges to replace bottom front teeth.
Used for decades in the field of dentistry, a bridge consists of two dental crowns with prosthetic teeth (pontics) in between them. When the crowns are bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the space, the artificial teeth fill in the gap to complete the smile.
A traditional dental bridge can replace bottom front teeth, upper front teeth, or back teeth. In order to place it, the natural teeth must be reduced to some degree. This means that Dr. Rodgers must remove small amounts of enamel to make room for your new restoration.
Unlike a traditional bridge, a cantilever bridge has only one dental crown, not two. When the crown is bonded into place, the artificial teeth extend over the gap and close down the space. As you can imagine, a cantilever is not as strong as a conventional bridge – but depending on the particular case, this type of bridge can be useful when replacing bottom front teeth. However, because these bridges are only supported on one side, they may serve as a lever, which can lead to issues such as loose crowns or fractured teeth.
Those who are seeking a more conservative treatment option can choose a Maryland bridge. Rather than being secured in place by dental crowns, this restoration has special metal or porcelain wings that are bonded to the backs of the neighboring teeth. Therefore, a Maryland bridge does not require the alteration of natural enamel.
Despite their benefits, there is one major drawback to Maryland bridges. The durability of the restoration is limited to the strength of the resin that bonds it into place. As a result, they can become dislodged if subjected to excessive bite forces over time. Maryland bridges are most often used as a temporary solution until a final restoration can be placed.
A common bottom front teeth bridge is an implant-supported restoration. While conventional bridges are cemented onto natural teeth, these restorations are supported by dental implants – threaded posts that are surgically inserted into the jawbone. To place this type of restoration, the implants must heal for a few months first. Then, the final bridge can be connected to the implants with high-quality dental cement or screw retention.
During a consultation at our Atlanta practice, Dr. Rodgers will perform a comprehensive oral assessment. X-rays and scans will also be taken to assess the adjacent teeth and underlying jawbone. Once all necessary information is gathered, Dr. Rodgers will recommend a bridge that will most effectively meet your needs.
Do you need a bottom front teeth bridge? If so, schedule an appointment at our Atlanta dental office. We can help you design a treatment plan to complete your smile and preserve your oral health for years to come. Call us today at 404-577-6620 or contact us online anytime.