Missing teeth can impact more than just your smile. They can affect your ability to chew comfortably, speak clearly, and even your confidence. 

If you’re looking for a reliable solution to replace missing teeth, look no further than dental bridges! 

This guide dives deep into everything you need to know about dental bridges, from the procedure itself to the amazing smile transformations they can achieve. 

Plus, we’ve included actual patients before and after photos to show you just how dramatically a bridge can restore your smile’s beauty and function.

What is a Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges are devices that replace missing teeth, either one or multiple, by bridging the gap in your smile. 

They can be custom-made to match your natural teeth color. The bridge consists of abutments, which are natural teeth or tiny connector posts used in dental implant-supported bridges, and pontics, artificial teeth that fill the gap. 

The type of bridge you receive may consist of one or more abutments and one or more pontics, depending on your specific situation.

Types of Dental Bridges

There are four main types of dental bridges, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:

1- Traditional Dental Bridge

Traditional dental bridges are the most common type, consisting of dental crowns on both ends and artificial pontics in between. 

Dentists bond the crowns to natural teeth on either side of the gap, filling the space between artificial teeth. They are used when healthy natural teeth are present.

2- Cantilever Dental Bridge

A cantilever bridge is a dental procedure where a crown is placed on one end of a bridge, allowing the artificial tooth to extend across the gap. 

It is commonly used when only one side of the gap has natural teeth, but is less strong due to its design.

3- Maryland Dental Bridge

Maryland bridges, or resin-bonded bridges, are dental appliances used to replace front teeth, as they are not strong enough to withstand the chewing forces of back teeth, and are typically secured using metal wings bonded to neighboring teeth’s backs.

4- Implant-supported Bridge

An implant-supported bridge is a dental bridge that rests on dental implants, replacing missing teeth roots. The implants must fully integrate with the jawbone before attaching the bridge, which typically takes three to six months. 

Dentists can use implant-supported bridges for patients with three or more missing teeth in a row.

How to Determine What Type of Bridge You Need?

A dentist determines the type of bridge needed by considering factors such as age, missing teeth, gap size, adjacent teeth’s condition, natural teeth on both sides, overall dental and gum health, and personal preferences. 

Dental Bridge Procedure

Dental Bridge Procedure

Dental bridges typically require two procedures and can be time-consuming. Maryland bridges require fewer appointments due to the absence of preparation for abutment teeth. 

Dentists need to take impressions or digital scans of teeth to shape the bridge components, regardless of the type. The process can take a long time.

Dental bridge procedure depends on what type of dental bridge you receive:

Traditional or Cantilever Bridge Procedure

A traditional or cantilever bridge involves a dentist providing local anesthesia, reshaping the abutment teeth, taking dental impressions, and sending them to a dental laboratory for final creation. 

A temporary bridge is placed until the final bridge is ready, which usually takes two to four weeks. After the final bridge is ready, the temporary bridge is removed, the new bridge is tested, and the bridge is cemented in place. 

Some dentists may use CAD/CAM technology to create custom bridges in the office, which can be discussed with the dentist.

Maryland Bridge Procedure

A Maryland bridge is a dental procedure where the dentist prepares teeth for metal wings, takes dental impressions, and sends them to a laboratory for finalization. 

After the bridge is ready, the dentist schedules a second appointment to check the fit, apply dental etch to neighboring teeth’s back surfaces, and bond the wings of the bridge to the backs of the abutment teeth using dental resin cement.

Implant-supported Bridge Procedure

An implant-supported bridge is a dental procedure that involves several office visits, including one surgery appointment. During the first appointment, anesthesia is administered to numb the mouth and dental implants are placed into the jaw during oral surgery. 

After surgery, the implants need to heal and fuse to the jawbone, a process called osseointegration, which takes three to six months. 

After integrating, impression copings are attached to the implants and taken, and the impressions are sent to a dental lab. 

The abutments are removed while the lab creates the new bridge. Once the bridge is ready, the implant abutments and bridge are placed and confirmed, and the bridge is secured using dental cement or tiny screws. 

Due to the longer integration time, implant-supported bridges take longer than other types of bridges.

Choosing the Right Dentist for Your Bridgework

Choosing the Right Dentist for Your Bridgework

Looking to achieve a dazzling smile with dental bridges? Consider Enhance Dental Centre!  Our team of experienced and qualified dentists are dedicated to providing exceptional dental care, utilizing advanced techniques and top-of-the-line materials. 

Enhance Dental Centre offers personalized consultations to discuss your unique needs and determine if dental bridges are the right solution for your smile. 

Request an appointment or call us at 604-733-1022 to choose the right dentist for your bridge work.

Dramatic Dental Bridge Work Before & After Photos

Dramatic Dental Bridge Work Before & After Photos

What are the Pros and Cons of a Dental Bridge?

Pros of Dental Bridges:

  • More affordable than implants
  • Faster procedure (rarely require surgery)
  • Restores chewing ability and speech
  • Feels and looks more natural than dentures
  • Prevents surrounding teeth from shifting

Cons of Dental Bridges:

  • Requires shaving down healthy teeth (for anchoring the bridge)
  • Does not prevent bone loss (underneath the bridge)
  • May have a shorter lifespan (compared to implants)
  • Can Increase risk of decay (around the bridge)
  • Not ideal for all situations (may not be suitable for everyone’s jawbone health)

Conclusion

Regaining a complete and confident smile is possible with dental bridges. We hope this guide, along with the before and after transformations, has given you a clearer picture of this dental restoration option. Remember, every smile is unique, and consulting a qualified dentist is the best way to determine if dental bridges are the right fit for you. At Enhance Dental Centre, our experienced dentists are dedicated to creating personalized treatment plans to achieve your desired smile goals. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options!

FAQs:

1- How long will a dental bridge last?

Modern dental bridges, also known as tooth bridges, can provide longevity lasting between five and seven years. With proper care, they can last for ten years or more, ensuring optimal dental health.

2- How successful are dental bridges?

Maintaining good dental hygiene and ensuring proper care of your dental bridge can provide a long-term solution to missing teeth, with most bridges lasting between five and 15 years, and increasing the lifespan of new teeth.

3- Are bridges safer than implants?

Bridges aren’t necessarily safer than implants. It depends on factors such as procedure, surrounding teeth, and long-term health. Bridges require less invasive procedures, potentially causing anxiety about surgery. They also require shaving down healthy teeth to support the bridge, potentially weakening them. Implants stimulate bone growth and prevent jaw bone loss, while bridges may contribute to bone loss over time. The choice depends on individual circumstances and priorities, so it’s recommended to consult a dentist for the best dental health decision.