A dental bridge closes the gap made by missing teeth. It is created by using your natural existing adjacent teeth as anchors, called abutment teeth. The artificial teeth are in the middle and are known as the pontics.
At Kevin Kay DDS Comprehensive Family Dentistry, pontics can be made from gold, metal alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these.
How Do Dental Bridges Work?
Gaps left by missing teeth can cause your remaining teeth to shift out of position. This imbalance can increase the risk of gum disease, take your bite out of alignment and may cause temporomandibular disorders.
At Kevin Kay DDS Comprehensive Family Dentistry, Dr. Kevin Kay may recommend dental bridges if you are missing one or several teeth. As their name indicates, they span the gap left by lost teeth to give you a complete smile.
Bridges are fixed to your natural teeth on either both or one side of the gap. The artificial teeth or pontics take the place of the missing teeth. This helps to restore the form, function, and aesthetics of your smile.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are four main types of dental bridges:
Traditional bridges are the most commonly used dental bridges. These bridges are held in place by dental crowns on either side of the gap. They are so strong that they can even be used in place of your back teeth. Their one major downside is that the process is irreversible as your adjacent teeth will need to have their enamel removed to accommodate the crowns. This means they will always need to be protected by crowns even if you decide to get your bridge replaced by dental implants.
Cantilever bridges are used when the adjacent teeth are present on only one side of the gap. These bridges are not very common as they come with certain risks. As they are supported on just one side, they act as a lever and can place a lot of pressure on the abutment tooth, which can cause it to crack or the crowns to fall off.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
A Maryland bonded bridge consists of porcelain or metal wings on both side of the bridge which can be cemented to the back of the adjacent teeth. Their biggest benefit is that they do not require filing down the natural healthy tooth structure of the adjacent teeth. However, they may become dislodged from their position if a lot of biting force is exerted on them. As a result, they are usually used to replace incisors and canines which are subjected to a lesser amount of pressure.
Implant-supported bridges are anchored into place with implants on either side. If your entire arch is devoid of teeth, four to six implants are sufficient to hold 10 to 14 artificial teeth. Implant-supported bridges feel the most secured.
Common Problems With Bridges
If your dental bridges move when you touch them, your bite becomes misaligned, and your teeth and gum become painful, it may be because your dental bridge has become loose. You may also fracture a prepared tooth if too much pressure is exerted on your bridge.
If this happens, your best option is to visit Kevin Kay DDS Comprehensive Family Dentistry. Call us at (425) 738-8476 to secure an urgent appointment and get your dental issues fixed.