If you have lost a tooth, a dental bridge is a tooth replacement option traditionally used to replace your missing tooth.
While dental implants are the ideal long-term solution for a stronger, more permanent result that is easier to clean and maintain, bridges still have their advantages. In certain situations, they may be your only dental option with the exception of partial dentures.
What are bridges?
Bridges are a fixed prosthetic device that basically looks like a row of three or more teeth. In the case of one missing tooth, the appropriate bridge is comprised of a row of three prosthetic teeth. The two outer teeth are actually hollow crowns, while the central tooth is a pontic which is a solid artificial tooth – similar to those found in dentures.
How do bridges work?
As the name suggests, dental bridges actually “bridge” the gap left behind by one or more missing teeth. The bridge device is anchored to the two teeth on either side of the gap via the two crowns at each end of the bridge. The crowns fit over these teeth which act as anchors (abutments) for the bridge. When your teeth are prepped to receive the crowns, some enamel will need to be removed to accommodate the crowns. Alternatively, dental implants may also serve as abutments for the bridge.
The pontic – the artificial tooth (or teeth) in the middle of the bridge device – occupies the space of the missing teeth. The pontic isn’t seated within your gums. Instead, it rests lightly on the gum, and is suspended from the bridge between the adjacent natural teeth. When you eat, the chewing forces on the pontic are evenly distributed to these supporting teeth.
Is there a visible space between the pontic and the gums?
There always has been a slightly visible borderline between the pontic and gumline from using traditional dental techniques – up until several years ago. However, cosmetic pontic design has come a long way since then.
For example, ovate (or egg-shaped) pontics – combined with a minimally-invasive surgical procedure to create matching depressions in the gum tissue – can create the appearance of the pontic emerging from the gum line. As a result, the colour-matched pontic is indistinguishable from your other natural teeth.
The benefits of a dental bridge:
- Replaces your missing teeth and completes your smile
- Maintains the shape and contours of your lower face
- Restores your ability to chew and masticate your food for better digestion
- Evenly distributes bite forces
- Prevents your surrounding and opposing natural teeth from shifting and drifting
Your suitability for a dental bridge
Only your dentist knows what tooth replacement treatment option suits your mouth best.
Here at Complete Dental Works, we can help guide you through all possible options. We take your cosmetic expectations, oral health, lifestyle, schedule and budget into consideration – so that you’ll be able to make an informed decision regarding your preferred tooth replacement option.
Book a consultation today. Just call our friendly team on 3848 1574
– and say good bye to the gap!