Are you missing one or more teeth? Replacing missing teeth is more important than simply making your smile look better. Teeth are made to work together, so when you lose a tooth, troublesome changes can occur in your mouth. Nearby teeth may tilt or drift into the empty space and teeth in the opposite jaw may also shift up or down into the space. This can affect your bite and place more stress on your teeth and jaw joints, possibly causing pain. In addition, teeth that have tipped are harder to clean, leaving them at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Fortunately, there are a few options for replacing missing teeth, including dental bridges.
Types of Dental Bridges Cary NC
1) Traditional Dental Bridges
Traditional dental bridges Cary NC are the most common type of bridge. These bridges consist of one or more false teeth (pontics) and are held in place by crowns cemented onto the teeth adjacent to your missing tooth (abutments). They can be made of gold, porcelain-fused-to metal or all ceramic materials.
Traditional bridges can be used when you have natural teeth on both sides of the gap left by your missing tooth. The disadvantage of traditional bridges is that the adjacent teeth must be prepared by reducing their enamel to make room for the crowns that will be cemented on top. Since enamel doesn’t grow back, these teeth will always need to be protected with crowns, even if you later choose an implant to replace the missing tooth.
2) Cantilever Bridges
Cantilever bridges are another option for replacing missing teeth. They are similar to traditional bridges, but the false tooth is supported by an abutment on only one side, rather than on both sides. So if there’s only one natural tooth next to the gap, a bridge can still be fabricated.
Like traditional bridges, your dentist will need to prepare the adjacent tooth to support the bridge by removing its enamel. Because these restorations are only supported on one side, however, they may act as a lever and could result in fractured teeth or roots.
3) Maryland Bridges
Maryland bridges are considered a conservative alternative to traditional bridges. These bridges consist of a pontic that is held in place by a metal or ceramic framework. This framework is bonded onto the backs of the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. Since this type of bridge isn’t held in place by crowns, the adjacent teeth don’t need to be reduced.
While Maryland bridges are more conservative than traditional bridges, they do have their limitations. The strength of the bridge is dictated by the strength of the resin that holds it in place, so it may not stay in place in areas of the mouth where the teeth are subjected to heavy biting forces, like the molars in back.
Similar to traditional dental bridges Cary NC, these bridges are supported by dental implants instead of natural teeth. These are often utilized when multiple teeth in a row are missing. A pontic floats between two implant-supported crowns. Because these bridges are secured by implants, they feel very stable and comfortable, just like the natural teeth they replace. The drawback to these bridges is the length of time required for the entire procedure. It may take six months from when the implants are surgically placed to the bridge being completed.
At Alliance Dentistry, we can close the gaps in your smile with dental bridges. With several types of bridges available, you can feel confident that we have an appropriate solution for your missing teeth.