What is a Dental Bridge?

What is a Dental Bridge – Overview

A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that replaces missing teeth by anchoring to adjacent teeth or dental implants. It is made of multiple pieces that are joined to fit perfectly into the space where the missing tooth/teeth were. Dental bridges offer a durable alternative to partial dentures, restoring speech, chewing function, and the aesthetics of your smile.

A dental bridge comprises various materials, including porcelain, gold, and alloys. Porcelain is mostly preferred for dental bridges that replace front teeth because it matches the natural tooth color.

Let’s examine dental bridges, their types, and their advantages and disadvantages.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Bridges

Pontics are the term used to describe the artificial teeth used in dental bridges. You will need a pontic for every missing tooth. A pontic is designed to mimic the natural shape of the missing tooth. These points are fixed to a tooth next to the missing one or directly to a dental implant.

There are four main types of dental bridges:

1 – Traditional Fixed Bridges

Conventional fixed dental bridges are the most commonly used and include a crown on both sides of the pontic.

2 – Maryland Dental Bridges/Resin-bonded Bridges

These are usually used to replace missing or broken front teeth. As opposed to crowns, this type of dental bridge uses metal or porcelain frameworks with ‘wings’ affixed to the back of your teeth on each side of the gap.

3 – Implant-Supported Bridges

This type of dental bridge requires an implant for each missing tooth and is surgically embedded into the jawbone during one procedure. The bridge connects pontics to the implants, replacing the missing teeth in one cohesive unit.

4 – Cantilever Bridges

Cantilever bridges are used when adjacent teeth are on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. The pontic is anchored to a single crown on one adjacent tooth.

What are the Advantages of Dental Bridges?

Following are the distinct advantages and express benefits of using dental bridges:

  • Get a natural smile and mouth
  • Restore your ability to speak normally, as missing teeth often make it difficult to enunciate.
  • Help to chew food properly.
  • Maintain normal facial expression by preventing bone loss from the jaw at the site of the missing tooth.
  • Prevent adjacent teeth from shifting to the space, which can create problems with biting and other complications.

What are the Disadvantages of Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges, like any dental restoration, can pose certain risks of complications, including:

  • Potential damage to adjacent teeth, which may compromise the stability of the bridge
  • Plaque and bacteria can take hold in the bridge or crown and cause tooth decay
  • The bridge may fail if the supporting teeth or implants are not strong enough
  • The procedure may weaken adjacent teeth, potentially necessitating their replacement with implants in some cases

Who should get Dental Bridges?

Not everyone is a good candidate to undergo a dental bridge procedure. You should talk to your dentist to determine if the procedure will benefit your case.

Some of the main factors that help to determine if a person is a good candidate for a dental bridge treatment are:

  • Missing one or multiple teeth
  • Having healthy teeth and strong bone structure to support the bridge
  • Having overall good health with no infections or serious medical conditions
  • Having good oral health
  • Can perform oral hygiene and maintain the condition of the dental bridge

How to Take Care of a Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges are considered “permanent” restorations as they are fixed and cannot be removed like dentures. However, their lifespan can range from 5 to 15 years or more with proper care. This needs proper care as some bridges can last for over a decade with dental care. Additionally, future advances in dental bridge technology will likely produce more durable implants.

Adopting good oral hygiene habits is the best way to care for your dental bridges. It is important to prolong their effectiveness. Like natural teeth, you must brush and floss your dental bridges twice daily.

Ask your dentist or dental hygienist about proper flossing and cleaning methods for dental bridges. Besides this, it is also important to visit your dentist regularly for frequent dental cleaning and exams.


Dental bridges are considered a better alternative to dentures. They are oral implants that are helpful in replacing missing teeth. They are made of different materials and fit perfectly for natural eating and speaking abilities. Discuss with your dentist the suitability of a dental bridge versus a dental implant for your specific situation to make an informed decision.

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See Also

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost Without Insurance

Braces Cost Without Insurance

Does Medicaid Cover Braces

Does Medicaid Cover Dental Implants

Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants

How to Get Help with Dental Implants

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