Dental bridges are a great option for replacing multiple adjacent missing teeth for which individual dental implants would be prohibitively expensive. While all bridges perform the same function by replacing rows of teeth, not all bridges are made the same. Here is a guide to three types of dental bridges.
1. Cantilever and Crown-Supported Bridges
Cantilever and crown-supported bridges are both fixed in place with crowns. The primary difference between these types of bridges is that crown-supported bridges are attached with crowns on both sides, while cantilever bridges use a single crown on one side of the gap.
Crown-supported and cantilever bridges are commonly used for teeth lost due to dental trauma and other conditions that do not cause deterioration in the jaw bone or remaining teeth.
2. Implant-Supported Bridges
Implant-supported bridges are fixed in place using dental implants rather than dental crowns. Titanium implant posts are inserted into the jaw bone beneath the gums. Titanium is a unique metal that can integrate with living bone tissue. This means that implant-supported bridges are highly durable and can withstand greater bite force than crown-supported bridges.
Installing implant posts for an implant-supported bridge is a minor surgery that usually necessitates a few weeks of recovery. During this time, patients may experience swelling, discomfort, and bleeding from the gums in the areas where the implants were inserted. Your dentist can help you manage your recovery with pain medication and/or medicated mouthwash.
3. Maryland Bonded Bridges
Maryland bonded bridges are a new type of dental bridge that are secured to the teeth using adhesive resin and a metal framework. The curved metal framework extends from either side of the bridge in distinctive wing shapes that are fixed to the back sides of the teeth with dental resin. Like crown-supported bridges, Maryland bonded bridges require healthy teeth on both sides of the gap.
Maryland bonded bridges are a cheaper alternative to implant-supported bridges that can still last for several decades without the need for invasive surgery. If your bridge ever needs to be replaced, a prosthodontist can do so easily without damaging the structure of the teeth by breaking down the resin holding the bridge in place.
If you are unhappy with your partial dentures and are looking for a more permanent solution to replace multiple teeth, dental bridges could be the answer. Now, you can have an informed conversation with your dentist about your dental bridge options!