Dental bridges are false teeth or sets of teeth used to fill in the gap created by one or more missing teeth. These are attached to the real teeth at either end of the gap and are supported by a metal or ceramic frame.
These can replace one or more missing teeth without needing a full set of dentures. How many pearly whites a dental bridge can replace depends on several factors, which we’ll explore in today’s article.
Just How Many Teeth Can They Replace?
The bridge is made up of one or more false teeth, called pontics, that are attached to dental crowns. These are placed over the adjacent teeth, called abutment teeth, to hold the bridge. The more missing teeth there are, the more crowns are needed to support the bridge. The less stable the bridge is, the more likely it is to fail.
Dental implants provide additional support for bridges that replace multiple teeth or patients without strong natural teeth to support the bridge. They can also be used as free-standing teeth to fill gaps not next to the bridged area. So while dental bridges are commonly used to replace one tooth, they can also be customized to cover two, three, four, or even more missing teeth! This is especially true for patients who’ve lost most of their front teeth, as we’ll explore in the next section.
It is common for people to choose to have their missing front teeth restored for aesthetic reasons. However, it can also be beneficial to replace teeth. When there are spaces in the gums, the surrounding teeth can shift, causing changes to a person’s bite and may result in problems such as temporomandibular joint disorders.
Dental bridges also offer aesthetic benefits such as:
- Restoration of a complete smile.
- Improving chewing and speaking.
- Maintaining face shape.
- Even distribution of bite forces.
While dental bridges can replace multiple teeth, the kind you get is just as vital. There are four main types: traditional, cantilever, Maryland, and implant-supported:
- Traditional: Also known as the most common dental bridges, they are attached to real teeth or implants surrounding the space. A pontic (false tooth) is attached to the crowns on each side (abutments), filling the missing tooth’s space.
- Cantilever: A cantilever bridge is a dental bridge supported by one or more adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is less common than other bridges because there is a higher risk of damaging the adjacent teeth.
- Maryland: A Maryland bridge consists of a pontic (false tooth) held in place by a metal or porcelain frame bonded to the adjacent teeth. This bridge type prevents the need for crowns but could not be as durable as a traditional bridge.
- Implant-supported: Implant-supported bridges are a great option for replacing multiple missing teeth. The implants provide support for the bridge, so you don’t have to worry about relying on healthy teeth for support. In some cases, you may need an implant for each missing tooth, but in other cases, you can use implant-supported crowns the same way as you would with natural teeth in a traditional bridge.
If you’re missing one or more of your teeth, consider dental bridges to improve their appearance and function. The number it can replace depends on the kind of bridge and how many healthy natural teeth you have left.
Book an Appointment for Dental Bridges at Galleria Dental Arts
We provide patients with comprehensive dental care to ensure optimal oral health. Find out more about dental bridges in Manassas by visiting our website!