You’ve probably heard of London Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge and here in Hendricks County – the Friendship Gardens Bridge in Plainfield and the Broyles Road Bridge in Avon Washington Township Park. But did you know that people can have a bridge in their mouth?
Similar to how a bridge connects the land on either side of a river or ravine, a dental bridge spans the space between one or more missing teeth, closing in the gap. Dental bridges help to keep your remaining teeth from rotating or shifting due to the empty space in your mouth. They also help you chew and speak properly. And they help improve your smile.
Unlike dentures which can be removed, dental bridges are cemented onto existing natural teeth or dental implants. These anchor teeth are called abutments. The natural teeth are trimmed down and capped with crowns. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is then attached to each abutment.
The replacement teeth in dental bridges can be made from several materials, including gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials. Porcelain bridges can be made to match your natural teeth color. If you require a bridge, Dr. Jon Erickson with Danville Family Dentistry located in Hendricks County can help you decide which material is best for the location and type of dental bridge you may need.
Types of Dental Bridges
The three main types of dental bridges are:
- Traditional bridge. This is the most common type of bridge. Typically it’s made of porcelain or porcelain fused to metal.
- Cantilever bridge. If the space in your mouth is small, a cantilever bridge will likely be used if a pontic can only be attached on one side of your mouth or if the affected area of your mouth is under less stress.
- Maryland bonded bridge. This type of bridge is normally used to bridge front teeth together. Named for the University of Maryland Dental School that developed this type of bridge, the false teeth are fused to metal bands and attached to the abutment teeth with resin.
Generally, the dental bridge procedure can be completed in two dental visits. With good oral hygiene, including twice daily tooth brushing and daily flossing, your dental bridge can last over 10 years.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Erickson at the Hendricks County office of Danville Family Dentistry to see if a dental bridge might be the right dental solution to help you restore your smile.