People who are missing teeth suffer self-consciousness, chewing problems, speaking difficulties and changing positions of remaining teeth. Dental bridges solve these problems, bridging the gap where teeth are missing.

What are dental bridges?

dentist and assistant smiling about dental bridgesDental bridges span between remaining teeth to fill a gap left by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of at least two crowned teeth on either side of the gap. The two crowned teeth, called abutment teeth, anchor the bridge. In between the two abutment teeth is a false tooth that fills the gap and completes your smile.

The false teeth on a bridge are pontics. These are porcelain, alloys, gold or a combination of these dental materials. The abutment teeth supporting the bridge and its pontics are natural teeth or implants.

Bridges solve many problems that arise as a result of missing teeth. They help you achieve a complete smile for better speaking and eating while looking natural. Bridges help you to maintain your face shape, properly distribute bite forces, prevent remaining teeth from moving out of proper position and restore your self-confidence.

Types of Dental Bridges

Bridges are available in three main types. These include traditional, cantilever and Maryland bonded bridges. Your dentist examines your remaining teeth and determines which bridge type is best for your needs.

Traditional bridges involve two crowned teeth on either side of the missing tooth. The pontic is on the bridge between these teeth to fill the space. These are the most common bridges in dentistry. Generally, these are porcelain fused to ceramic or metal.

Cantilever bridges aren’t as common as they once were. These bridges fill a gap when there’s only one tooth adjacent to the missing tooth’s space. Cantilever bridges put too much strain on the supporting tooth when they’re in the back of the mouth, damaging the abutment tooth. As a result, today’s dentists don’t use these on back teeth.

Maryland bonded bridges are also known as resin-bonded bridges or simply Maryland bridges. Porcelain, metal frames with porcelain fused on them, and metal or porcelain frames supporting plastic teeth and gums provide options for these bridges. Like cantilever bridges, a tooth on just one side of the bridge supports the false tooth. However, Maryland bridges involve porcelain wings that the dentist bonds to existing teeth.

How Dentists Install Bridges

Your dentist first prepares the abutment teeth for your dental bridge. This process involves recontouring the supportive teeth and removing some enamel for a crown to fit over them. The dentist makes impressions of your teeth. These impressions are a model for crafting of your bridge, pontic and crowns by a specialized dental lab.

While the lab is crafting your bridge, your dentist makes a temporary bridge. This temporary bridge protects your exposed teeth and gums until your new bridge is ready.

You visit the dentist the second time when your new porcelain or metal bridge arrives from the lab. The dentist removes your temporary bridge and checks the new one for fit. If the new bridge needs adjustments, the dentist performs those during this visit.

You may have to visit the dentist a few times for the best fit. Finally, the dentist cements the bridge in place.

Dental Bridges in Tupelo, Mississippi

In Tupelo, MS, North Mississippi Family Dentistry provides dental services for adults and children. These services include:

For your missing teeth, a bridge may solve problems with chewing, talking and keeping your teeth properly aligned. Call North Mississippi Family Dentistry now at 662-635-8051 for a consultation.