Sometimes, patients accidentally lose one (or more) teeth. Or it might be that tooth decay has advanced so much that it needs to be removed by a dentist.

In either case, the resulting gap needs to be filled (for aesthetical and health reasons). Tooth bridges are among the most common dental replacement options to achieve this goal.

What are tooth bridges?

A tooth bridge is a dental solution for the loss or a few teeth that are aside. It anchors into two teeth and place the replacement teeth in between.

Tooth bridges are constantly subjected to strong biting forces. To guarantee they can withstand such abuse, the replacement teeth are usually made from high-strength materials.

Some of these include gold, metallic alloys, ceramics, composite, or even a combination of said materials.

This grants your tooth bridge high durability while providing an excellent aesthetic appearance. Most tooth bridges look as if they were natural teeth.

Tooth Bridges: What are my options?

A tooth bridge consists of a fixed substitute for one or more dental pieces. Depending on their type, there are many ways to keep a tooth bridge in place:

  • Traditional and Cantilever bridges are held by crowns fixed to one or two adjacent abutment teeth.
  • Maryland bridges and Composite bridges use wings bonded to the back of the adjacent dental pieces. These wings can be made from metal, ceramic, or composite materials.
  • Implant-supported bridges are fixed to implants or screws built into the jaw bone. These work as abutments for the tooth bridge.

How do tooth bridges work and what to expect from the procedure

Depending on the type of tooth bridge you choose, the procedure may differ slightly.

Traditional bridges

A traditional tooth bridge placement requires a bare minimum of two appointments. On your first visit, your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth where the crowns will be placed.

This includes removing part of their enamel and dentin. Also, in the first appointment, your dentist takes your dental impressions, which will be the template to create your tooth bridge.

You will then receive a temporary bridge. This will protect the exposed areas until your tooth bridge arrives from the Dental Lab.

On your second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge. Then check and make all necessary adjustments to ensure your tooth bridge fits comfortably inside your mouth.

However, each dental replacement procedure requires a different amount of chair time.

Maryland bridges and Composite bridges

In the case of Maryland and Composite bridges, the tooth bridge placement time is extensively shorter (the latter can sometimes be made and installed in the same session).

This is not the case with Implant-supported bridges… 

Implant-supported bridges

This process requires two different surgeries to put them in place. This causes the whole process to take a couple of months.

As we said before, if you´ve lost teeth, a tooth bridge is the best alternative to keep your smile looking the same way it was with your natural teeth.

Indeed, tooth bridges and implants are usually made from high-durability materials. Nonetheless, their longevity is also dependent on the patient´s proper oral hygiene and professional maintenance.

All in all, if you´re suffering from tooth decay or want to replace missing teeth, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Only dental professionals have the knowledge and expertise to consciously assess each individual case. This allows them to provide the best-suited tooth replacement options for each situation.