Having dental bridges placed is a very common treatment technique used for the replacement of missing teeth. Patients are sometimes surprised to learn how many types of dental bridges are available. In light of this fact, you will require accurate information to give you an idea of what treatment makes the most sense for you.
Some commonly used types of dental bridges are:
- Conventional dental bridges
- Cantilever dental bridges
- Maryland dental bridges
- Composite dental bridges
Conventional dental bridges remain the most popular type of bridge that is used for restoring lost teeth. They are useful for situations where a patient has some remaining natural teeth, or dental implants, on each side of the gap left by the missing teeth.
Dental bridges are typically small and unencumbered, offering great chewing comfort through the redistribution of the normal bite force that has been compromised by the missing teeth.
Properly cared for, you can expect a traditional bridge to last for a long time.
One downside of conventional bridges is that some of your tooth enamel will need to be removed from the abutment teeth to make space for the dental crowns. Since you cannot regenerate a large amount of tooth enamel, the abutment teeth must be guarded by well-fitted dental crowns.
This type of bridge is commonly used when the patient only has one anchor tooth available for supporting the missing teeth. However, it is not advised that a patient get a cantilever bridge for teeth in the back of the mouth because too much strain will be placed on the abutment teeth.
Cantilever bridges can still help if they are well designed and the cantilevered tooth is in the front.
The Maryland bridge is a conservative treatment choice, and sometimes known as a resin-bonded bridge. They are manufactured using plastic teeth that has a gum material strengthened by a metal frame.
Maryland bridges attach to existing anchor teeth using metal attachments on opposite sides. This type of bridge is most often used for front teeth, assuming that the adjoining teeth are in good condition.
This type of bridge is relatively inexpensive compared to traditional bridges. However, not everyone qualifies for a Maryland bridge. For example, those with cross bites or deep bites cannot get them.
The metal used in Maryland bridges has a tendency to become discolored, leading to the darkening of abutment teeth over time. They also tend to de-bond. So they are most often employed as temporary replacements to be used while a dental implant is healing.
If you have 1-2 missing teeth, and are searching for an affordable replacement option, a composite bridge may be what you are looking for. These bridges are typically created and placed in only one dental appointment. A composite bonding material will be placed right into the missing space to provide a nice treatment option.