Close a gap between your teeth with a dental bridge.

If you are missing teeth, you might feel self conscious about your smile. But the team at Bloomington Modern Dentistry has options to bridge the gap and help you feel more confident so you can start smiling again.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a restorative solution for those who are missing one tooth or multiple teeth that were situated together. A customized set of prosthetic teeth takes the place of the missing teeth and fills in the gap by anchoring to the teeth on either side of it. A dental bridge is a great nonsurgical restorative option and, when well taken care of, can last about 10 to 15 years.

Types of Dental Bridges

There are four types of bridges dentists use in restorative dentistry today. Once you’ve scheduled an appointment with the team at Bloomington Modern Dentistry, you and your dentist will discuss which type of dental bridge will work best for you.

Traditional Dental Bridge

A traditional dental bridge uses a prosthetic tooth (or teeth) to fill the space. That replacement tooth is anchored in place by dental crowns that are cemented onto each anchor, or abutment, tooth. This is the most popular style of dental bridge. Thanks to advances in dental technology, bridges are most often made of porcelain instead of gold or other metal, allowing the bridge to blend in with your natural smile.

Cantilever Dental Bridge

A cantilever dental bridge is similar to a traditional dental bridge. The only difference is that it is only anchored to the natural tooth on one side of the space, and the remainder of the bridge is suspended.

Maryland Dental Bridge

A Maryland dental bridge is unique in that it uses metal framework to keep the replacement tooth secure versus full-coverage crowns. This makes it preferable in situations where the anchor teeth do not need restorative treatment themselves. These metal wings are bonded to the backs of the teeth on either side of the space with minimal preparation.

Implant-Supported Dental Bridge

An implant-supported dental bridge is considered the strongest type of dental bridge, however, it does require multiple appointments to complete. The first step is to surgically place the implants into the jawbone. After adequate healing time, your dentist can then create the final bridge to fit over the implants. In an implant-supported dental bridge, the implants act as the anchor teeth to keep the bridge in place. Though treatment can span several months, implants can easily support multiple teeth, making it an excellent option for those with several missing teeth in a row.

What are the benefits of dental bridges?

Besides improving and restoring your smile, there are many advantages to getting a dental bridge.

For one, a dental bridge will help keep the other teeth in your mouth in place. When there is a space, the other teeth tend to shift forward and can create food traps, gum inflammation, bite misalignment, and jaw pain.

A dental bridge can also help you eat and speak more naturally. Missing teeth make proper pronunciation difficult, and it can also affect how you chew your food, placing excess force on certain teeth. This consistent extra pressure can lead to premature enamel wear and fractures. By filling the space, a dental bridge prevents these problems and restores your mouth to its optimal state.

A dental bridge is also one of the most natural-looking options available for those who are missing teeth. Since they are made of porcelain or other tooth-colored dental material, the replacement teeth are crafted to look like they belong in your mouth, leaving you with a beautiful smile.

Are there alternatives to dental bridges?

If you are looking for an alternative to a dental bridge, there are options. Two popular options to replace missing teeth are dental implants and dentures.

Dental implants follow a similar process to implant-supported bridges, except in this case, a single implant is used for each tooth (unlike implant-supported bridges that can support a whole arch of teeth with as few as four implants). This makes dental implants ideal for replacing single teeth, but their cost can rise quickly if you need to replace multiple teeth.

Dentures are a cheaper option for those looking to fix their smiles after multiple teeth have been removed due to trauma or tooth decay. Dentures are prosthetic teeth that sit on an acrylic or metal base and are customized to look like your natural ones. While dentures are usually less expensive than dental implants or bridges, many patients find them uncomfortable and dislike the time it takes to adjust to wearing them.

Visit Bloomington Modern Dentistry to learn more about your options.

While there are many options to choose from when you are missing one or more teeth, the option that is best for you depends on many factors. To find out which course of treatment is ideal for your situation, book a consultation with our team at Bloomington Modern Dentistry. We can perform an evaluation and discuss how you can complete your smile.