Restoring Your Smile? 4 Bridge Options to Consider
A healthy and full smile is important for a few reasons. Not only will your appearance be better with a complete smile, but you will also be able to eat, chew, and speak in a more effective manner if you have a full set of healthy teeth. Unfortunately, an estimated 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth. Thankfully, there are many dental treatments available if you are ready to restore your smile back to a full and healthy state. Bridges are one restorative option to consider, but you may not realize there are a few different types available. This guide and your dentist will help you understand different bridge options and which is right for you.
Traditional dental bridges are the most common option. These bridges consist of a few artificial teeth that are secured in place by crowns. Also known as abutments, the crowns are secured in place onto the teeth adjacent to the teeth you are replacing.
If you have natural teeth on both sides of the opening where you are missing teeth, a traditional bridge is a good option for restoring your smile.
One downside of wearing a traditional bridge is that your dentist will need to remove some enamel from your teeth to support the bridge. This removal of tooth enamel can increase your risk of developing cavities and decay, so proper dental care will be essential for protecting these teeth.
A Maryland bridge is not a bridge that runs through the state of Maryland—it is a dental bridge similar to a traditional bridge, but it is held in place by a metal or porcelain frame.
Because the frame is secured to the back of the teeth adjacent to your missing/lost teeth, many people believe the Maryland bridge is a secure and effective option especially if they need to restore teeth missing from the front of the mouth.
Unlike traditional bridges, removal of enamel is not necessary to secure a Maryland bridge in place. However, this type of bridge is not ideal for patients who have cavities or underlying dental issues.
A Cantilever is another type of bridge to consider. Instead of the artificial tooth being supported by abutments on both sides of the mouth, the artificial teeth are only supported by an abutment on one side.
Unfortunately, your dentist will need to remove some of the enamel on the tooth to ensure the abutment can be secured properly. While it will only occur to the tooth on one side, ongoing dental care is crucial for protecting this tooth from cavities, bacteria, and decay.
Lastly, your dentist may recommend an implant-supported bridge to restore your smile. They are great options if you are missing multiple teeth. While traditional, Maryland, and cantilever bridges are secured in place by crowns, implant-supported bridges are secured in place and supported by dental implants.
Your dentist will need to surgically place an implant for each tooth you are missing, which can make the process of restoring your smile a bit more time-consuming. In addition, if your dentist feels you do not have adequate bone to support the implant, a bone grafting procedure will need to be completed first.
After the implants are placed and osseointegration ensures the implant fuses with the jawbone, the actual bridge is secured into place.
Most people who receive implant-supported bridges feel their new smile is just as appealing and as secure as their natural smile was previously to losing teeth.
For more information on the different types of bridges that can restore your smile, visit a dental clinic, like AQ Denture and Dental Implant Center, today.