October 27, 2021 by Dr. Abhi Singh

Different Types of Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a prosthetic device that replaces one or more missing teeth. It’s made out of a custom-made artificial tooth (crown) secured in place by two crowns on adjacent natural teeth, but it’s also sometimes used only on a single tooth. A dental implant may also help to keep it in place. They’re strong enough to endure the biting and chewing forces.

The pontics, also known as false teeth, can be made of gold, metal alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges typically last around ten years or more. However, the length of time might vary depending on what you eat and how well you maintain your dental hygiene.

Each type of bridge can restore a missing tooth, but each has unique characteristics that make them ideal for specific purposes.

what are dental bridges

It’s essential to take care of your teeth and gums. If you’re missing a tooth, it can affect how food is chewed and cause pain in the jaw. Dental bridges are a popular choice for many Australians who are missing one or more teeth. They can be used to replace any missing anterior or posterior teeth.

Many factors go into deciding whether a person needs a dental bridge, such as the stability of their remaining natural teeth, the number of missing teeth, and what kind of treatment they’ve had in the past like extractions or root canals. It’s important to talk with your dentist about all these considerations before committing to this procedure.

In this blog post, we’ll go over the different kinds of dental bridges available, their advantages and disadvantages, and some special considerations for each bridge type. 

Traditional Dental Bridge

A traditional dental bridge is composed of a false tooth supported with dental crowns on each anchor tooth. It is the most common type of dental bridge, which may be used when you have healthy teeth on the adjacent sides of the missing tooth’s space.

The permanent teeth on both sides of the space will have to be reshaped before the bridge can be placed. It is a necessary step in order for the new crown to be durable.

Cantilever Dental Bridge

 A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge except that it uses only one abutment tooth instead of two. A cantilever bridge only requires one natural tooth next to the missing tooth gap.

It’s not often used these days, and it’s not recommended to use it on the posterior teeth, where it might put too much pressure on neighbouring teeth and break them.

Maryland Dental Bridge

It is also known as a resin-bonded bridge and is a common solution for single front tooth replacement. This bridge procedure requires two natural abutment teeth on each side of the space, just as a traditional bridge is. Unlike a traditional bridge, it does not require the adjacent teeth to be shaped or crowns placed, making it a more conservative alternative. Metal wings or porcelain wings are bonded to the back of abutment teeth.

Implant-supported Dental Bridge

When aesthetic dentists restore the teeth, implants are generally used in place of crowns or metal framework or porcelain framework. In most cases, one implant is inserted for each extracted tooth to ensure the bridge’s stability. If it’s impossible to replace every missing tooth with an implant, the bridge may be made up of two implant-supported crowns linked by a pontic tooth.

The most long-lasting and sturdy bridge is one that has an implant-supported by a screw, with two steps needed: implanting the artificial root into the jawbone and connecting the bridge to the metal pole. The procedure might take months to complete, as well as any necessary healing time after surgery.

Implant-supported dental bridges can also prevent bone loss in the jawbone after teeth are lost due to severe tooth decay or dental injuries.

Each Type's Advantages and Disadvantages

each type's advantages and disadvantages

Traditional Dental Bridge

Advantages

Disadvantages

Cantilever Dental Bridge

Advantages

Disadvantages

Maryland Dental Bridge

Advantages

Disadvantages

Implant-supported Dental Bridge

Advantages

Disadvantages

Factors Affecting the Longevity of Dental Bridges

factors affecting the longevity of dental bridges

Dental bridges have a five-to fifteen-year lifespan, depending on your diet, habits, and activity. If you maintain good oral health and receive regular prophylaxis, a fixed bridge’s life expectancy is generally more than ten years. Bridges vary in durability, so some are more durable than others. However, a variety of factors may influence the outcome. According to specialists, variations in dental bridge placement and other variables might impact the results.

It’s essential to pay attention to how wear and tear affects the anterior or posterior bridge, as well as how effectively you keep your teeth free of plaque and cavities. Brushing and flossing your bridge at least twice each day is critical for maintaining its strength and health, as well as preserving it for a long time. Similar to your natural teeth, good oral hygiene will help keep them in top condition.

There is a need to change your eating habit to extend the life of the fixed bridge. Your bridges are created from hard porcelain material that is resistant to deterioration. The teeth and gums beneath them, on the other hand, are not. Thus, avoid eating sugary meals and drinks to minimise the chance of tooth decay.

If the tooth were in good condition with longer roots and better surrounding gum and bone levels, it would have a better chance to last longer. 

Aftercare of Dental Bridge Treatment

After a bridge is created, the health and strength of the remaining teeth will determine its success. It’s crucial to avoid tooth decay and gum disease because they might result in tooth loss. You should:

  • Daily brushing and flossing: At least twice a day, brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush. You can learn how to use dental floss from a dentist. You’ll be advised to use a threader similar to floss but allows you to slide it between your gums and bridge.
  • Professional cleanings: Gum and dental disease can be prevented by regular professional cleanings every six months, which is usually done during regular checkups—optimal oral health through regular dental visits to maintain healthy teeth and gums. 
  • Maintain a balanced diet: Make sure you eat a wide range of fruits, veggies, and fibre while restricting chewy, fibrous meals like red meat. Avoid chewy food and hard foods to keep the bridge intact.

Final Thoughts

We hope this blog post has helped you understand the different types of dental bridges and how they may affect your oral health. If you are considering getting a dental bridge procedure, contact our team at Byford Smiles (08 9532 0247). 

At Byford Smiles, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the best dental care in Western Australia. We offer a wide range of services for different stages in life and can help you select which ones will be most beneficial for your needs. We will work with you every step of the way from consultation through treatment completion so that you can have confidence in knowing that your smile is taken care of.

AboutDr. Abhi Singh
Dr Abhi is a member of the Australian Dental Association and loves living and working in our community. He has over a decade of experience in all aspects of dentistry with a special interest in implants, wisdom teeth removal and cosmetic dentistry.