Dental bridges are prosthetic devices we use at Ragan Family Dentistry to replace one or more missing teeth by filling the gap between two natural teeth or dental implants. They are called bridges because they literally "bridge" the space left by missing teeth.
Dental bridges are fixed restorations, meaning they are cemented or bonded in place and are not removable by the patient. Here are the main components of a dental bridge:
Pontic: The pontic is the artificial tooth that fills the gap left by the missing tooth. It is designed to match the shape, size, and color of natural teeth, providing a natural-looking replacement.
Abutments: The abutments are the natural teeth or the dental implants on either side of the gap that support the bridge. The abutment teeth are prepared by removing a portion of their enamel to make room for the dental crowns that anchor the bridge.
Dental Crowns: Dental crowns are hollow tooth-shaped caps that fit over the abutment teeth, serving as anchors for the bridge. These crowns provide stability and support for the pontic in the middle.
Types of Dental Bridges
This is the most common type of dental bridge. It consists of one or more pontics supported by dental crowns placed on the adjacent abutment teeth.
A cantilever bridge is used when only one adjacent natural tooth or implant is available to support the bridge. The pontic is supported on only one side by a dental crown or implant.
Also known as a resin-bonded bridge, this type of bridge uses a metal or porcelain framework bonded to the back side of the adjacent teeth with resin. It requires minimal preparation of the adjacent natural teeth.
In cases where multiple teeth are missing, dental implants can be used to support the bridge instead of natural teeth. The dental implants serve as the anchors for the bridge, providing a stable and long-lasting solution.
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
Bridges help to restore the ability to chew and speak correctly, improving overall oral function.
Bridges fill the gaps left by missing teeth, improving your smile and facial appearance.
Maintaining Tooth Alignment
By filling the space, bridges prevent the adjacent teeth from shifting or tilting into the gap, helping to maintain proper tooth alignment.
Distributing Bite Forces Evenly
Bridges distribute chewing forces evenly across the remaining natural teeth or dental implants, preventing excessive stress on individual teeth.
To determine if a dental bridge suits your needs, visit Ragan Family Dentistry at 201 S 3rd St., McAlester, OK 74501, or call (918) 426-9900. Our dentist will evaluate your oral health, discuss treatment options, and develop a personalized plan to restore your missing teeth and improve your oral function and your smile’s aesthetic appeal.