Dental prosthesis has evolved over the years to become more durable, and natural to the structures of the oral cavity. Dental bridges literally bridge the gap formed when one or more teeth are missing.
A bridge consists of 2 or more crowns for the dentition on either side of the gap — these two or more supporting teeth are called abutment teeth — and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are known as pontics and can be constructed from porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of these dental materials. Dental bridges can be reinforced by natural teeth or implants.
There are 3 main types of dental bridges
1) Traditional bridges
This involves creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the tooth that needs replacement, with a pontic in between the abutments.
2) Cantilever bridges
These are used when there aren’t neighboring teeth on both sides of the teeth – only one side of the absent dentition. This is relatively rare in modern dentistry and is not generally advocated in the posterior region.
3) Maryland bonded bridges (also known as resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge)
These are made from acrylic, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings often on just a single side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
However, bridges can also be attached to dental implants, which do not depend on natural teeth for support. To connect this type of restoration, a dental practitioner will surgically embed small biocompatible posts made of titanium in an individual’s jawbone, and these posts secure the complete restoration. Dental implants are the only dental restorations that mimic the whole structure of missing teeth, the roots included, making them the strongest, most stable method of securing bridges available.
Hence, regardless of what type of bridge a patient gets, the restoration will play a prominent role in aesthetic and realistic benefits. The new teeth will reestablish dental functionality and oral health.
Some dentist would recommend implants over bridges, but it is important to understand that each situation has its challenges and solutions. Only your dentist can help you in this particular case.