If you have lost a tooth due to decay or an accident, you may have a gap between your teeth. Gaps don’t just reduce the aesthetic appeal of your smile; they also decrease the functionality of your bite. Gaps in your teeth can cause your face to change shape over time due to the uneven distribution of forces as you chew your food. A dental bridge can solve this problem and return your smile to its former glory. Dental bridges, also referred to as pontics are custom-made false teeth designed to fit into the gap and complete your smile. The bridge is held in place by two crowns which fit snugly over the two healthy teeth on either side of the false tooth.
Why opt for a dental bridge?
Dental bridges offer many benefits including:
- A strong and natural bite.
- Help to keep your teeth in proper alignment.
- Help to distribute the forces evenly across your bite.
- Maintain your facial structure.
- Restore your smile.
- Assist you with chewing and speaking properly.
The three types of dental bridges
There are three types of dental bridge, each with their own particular function:
The most common type of bridge, the traditional dental bridge consists of a crown placed on either side of a pontic.
A cantilever bridge is based on the same principle as a traditional bridge, but is used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth.
Also referred to as resin-bonded bridges, Maryland bridges are supported by a metal framework and are less invasive than regular dental bridges. Tooth modification is kept at a minimum meaning Maryland bridges tend to be more aesthetic.
Dental bridge materials
We will construct your dental bridge using one of three materials:
- Porcelain fused to metal
- All metal (gold)
Porcelain bridges are used almost entirely for your front teeth where they blend in with your natural teeth to give you a charming smile. Porcelain bridges aim to replace and restore smiles with an emphasis on beauty over strength. Porcelain fused to metal bridges (PFM) are used exclusively for your back teeth where the forces required for chewing and grinding are much greater. Gold bridges are the most durable type of dental bridge and as well being impervious to chipping, also offer the most precise fit.
Our dental practice in San Jose, CA is always happy to offer advice. If you would like some more information on dental bridges please give us a call or visit our dental practice.