Should you get a dental bridge? (2023)

A dental bridge is a permanent appliance that replaces a missing tooth or teeth. It has several pieces that fuse together to fit into the open space where your tooth or teeth used to be.

Dental bridges are an alternative topartial dentures. A bridge can help you eat and speak more effectively and alsomake your teeth look better.

A dental bridge can be made of different materials, including gold, alloys, or porcelain. When replacing a front tooth, porcelain is most often used because it can be matched to the natural color of the tooth.

This article will cover the different types of dental bridges. You will learn what to expect if you need a dental bridge, as well as the pros and cons of having a dental bridge.

Should you get a dental bridge? (1)

Dental Treatment You Can Get If You Have Missing Teeth

Types of dental bridges

Artificial teeth used in dental bridges are calledpontics. You will have a pontic for each missing tooth. A pontic is made to resemble the shape and size of the missing tooth.

Pontics are anchored to a tooth near the gap (abutment teeth) or to a dental implant.

The four types of dental bridges are:

  1. traditional fixed bridgesare the most common type of bridge Includes a crown on each side of the pontic(s).
  2. Maryland dental bridges or resin bridgesthey are often used to replace front teeth. Instead of crowns, this type of dental bridge uses porcelain or metal frameworks with "wings" that are attached to the back of the teeth on either side of the gap.
  3. Implant supported bridgesuse a implant for each missing tooth that is surgically inserted into the jawbone during a procedure. The bridge contains the pontics and is placed over them in a subsequent procedure.
  4. cantilever bridgesthey are no longer in common use. When only one side of the gap has a natural tooth, the pontic(s) is(are) anchored by a single crown on that natural tooth.

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Advantages of dental bridges

Dental bridges can offer many benefits, including:

  • Give your mouth and smile a natural look.
  • Restore your ability to speak normally, as missing teeth can make it difficult to pronounce words (enunciation)
  • Maintenance of normal facial structure by preventing jaw bone loss at the site of missing teeth
  • Helping you chew food more efficiently
  • Preventing adjacent teeth from shifting into the empty space, which can cause bite problems and other complications.

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Disadvantages of dental bridges

Dental bridges have some disadvantages, including:

  • Future damage to the abutment teeth may compromise the bridge.
  • bacteria andleafcan slip into an ill-fitting crown or bridge and causedental cavity
  • Crowns can change the structure of your teeth and affect your bite.
  • A bridge can collapse if the abutment teeth are not strong enough to support it.
  • Abutment teeth may be weakened by the procedure(s) and may need to be replaced with dental implants

Why You Should Get a Second Opinion on Dental Work

Are you a good candidate for a dental bridge?

Not everyone is a good candidate for a dental bridge.You will need to talk to your dentist about whether it would be beneficial for you to get a bridge.

Factors that make you a good candidate for a dental bridge include:

  • Missing one or more permanent teeth
  • Be in good general health (for example, no serious medical conditions, infections, or other health problems)
  • Have healthy teeth and a strong bone structure to support the bridge.
  • having goodoral health
  • can work properlyOral hygieneto maintain the state of the dental bridge

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Get a dental bridge

For most dental bridges, at least two procedures will be performed and the process can be time consuming.

A Maryland bridge requires fewer appointments than other types of dental bridges because the abutment teeth do not need to be prepared.

Regardless of the type you choose, your dentist will need to take impressions or a digital scan of your teeth that the lab will use to mold the bridge components.

How are dental impressions made?

Traditional or cantilever bridge

The first step in obtaining a traditional fixed or cantilever dental bridge is to prepare the abutment teeth.

Your dentist will begin by removing some of the enamel and dentin from the abutment teeth to make room for the crowns. They will then place a temporary bridge over those teeth to protect them until the bridge is in place.

During a follow-up appointment, your dentist will:

  1. remove temporary crowns
  2. Check that permanent crowns and bridges fit correctly
  3. Cement the bridge in place

Sometimes the bridge is permanently cemented during this procedure. However, your dentist may opt for a temporary cement, giving him or her time to make sure the bridge fits properly before making it permanent.

Why Your Teeth May Be Sensitive After Getting A Crown

maryland bridge

For a Maryland bridge, all that needs to happen to the abutment teeth is a small etching on the back, which helps the wings to attach to it.

After testing the proper fit, your dentist will:

  1. put the bridge
  2. Bond the metal wings to the abutment teeth with a strong resin
  3. resin cured

implant supported bridge

An implant-supported bridge requires surgery to place the implants into the jawbone followed by time for it to heal.

The healing time of an implant-supported bridge varies greatly depending on the location of the implants in the mouth and whether theirjawit needs to be built to support the implants.

You may have to wear a temporary bridge until your next procedure, when your dentist will place the permanent bridge over the implants. This procedure involves small incisions in the gums, so healing time is longer than with other types of bridges.

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caring for a dental bridge

Dental bridges are considered "permanent" because they cannot be removed as can bedentures; however, they do not last forever.

The average dental bridge lasts between five and seven years. With proper care, some bridges can last for more than a decade. Advances in materials and methods for dental bridges are likely to make them even more durable in the future.

The best way to get the most out of your dental bridge is to take good care of it.

How to make your dental bridge last

Good oral hygiene is important if you have a dental bridge because you want to keep your remaining teeth strong and healthy. Having good oral health is also important if you want a long life for your bridge.

As with your natural teeth, you should brush andfio dentalyour bridge at least twice a day.

Your dentist or dental hygienist will show you how to properly floss and clean around your bridgework. It is also important to visit your dentist regularly todental cleanings and exams.

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diet changes

Right after your bridge is in place, you may need to be especially careful about what you eat while your mouth is healing. Your dentist will give you specific instructions to follow during this time.

In the long run, certain foods can cause problems with dental bridges or abutment teeth. If you want your bridge to last and avoid damaging it, you will need to avoid these foods.

Foods to avoid if you have a dental bridge include:

  • Chewy/sticky mints (can pull crowns off abutment teeth)
  • Hard caramels or snacks
  • Sugary foods (can cause cavities under crowns)
  • Popcorn
  • Walnuts

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There are pros and cons to getting a dental bridge, but studies have shown that with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, a dental bridge can be an effective and long-lasting solution to missing teeth.

However, certain factors determine who is a good candidate for a dental bridge. Your dentist can help you decide if a dental bridge is right for you, as well as what type of dental bridge will work best for you.

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frequent questions

  • What is a dental cantilever bridge?

    A cantilever bridge is a type of dental bridge. You have an artificial tooth called a pontic that is connected to an abutment tooth (metal connector).

    A cantilever type of bridge is not common today; it was mainly used for people who only had teeth on one side of the gap.

  • What dental bridge is used for front teeth?

    In many cases, the Maryland dental bridge (resin bridge) is used if a person is missing front teeth. This type of dental bridge uses porcelain fused to a metal framework that connects to existing teeth.

  • What happens during a dental bridge procedure?

    The placement of a traditional dental bridge usually requires two appointments.

    During the first appointment, your dentist will prepare your abutment teeth and take impressions (digital scans) of your teeth. You will receive a temporary bridge while a dental laboratory creates your permanent dental bridge.

    During a second consultation, the temporary bridge will be replaced by the definitive and permanent dental bridge. Adjustments can be made to ensure the bridge fits snug.

  • How much does a dental bridge cost?

    If you have dental insurance, some or all of the costs of a dental bridge may be covered. The cost of an uninsured dental bridge can range from $700 to $1,500 per tooth.

  • Do I need a bone graft for a dental bridge?

    You may need a bone graft before getting a dental bridge if you have a tooth extracted.

  • Is a dental bridge painful?

    You may experience some pain and discomfort after a dental bridge procedure as your mouth heals and adjusts.Once you have recovered, your dental bridge should not hurt or be uncomfortable.

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What is the downside of a dental bridge? ›

Disadvantages Of Dental Bridges

An ill-fitting bridge causes tooth decay formation under the Crown. Your abutment teeth are compromised to accommodate the dental crowns during the preparation. The restoration can collapse if your abutment teeth do not have the strength required.

Why is a dental bridge not recommended? ›

Bridges don't address bone loss.

Replacing the tooth root with a dental implant is the only way to stop bone resorption and grow that bone tissue back. Because bridges sit above the gum line, the jawbone will continue to deteriorate.

Is a dental bridge a good idea? ›

Bridges have many advantages over dentures.

Dentists often recommend bridges instead of dentures if the patient has enough healthy teeth left. The healthy teeth can act as anchors for bridges, as opposed to dentures that must be anchored to the gums using some time of temporary sealant which is not as secure.

Do I really need a dental bridge? ›

The main reason you would need to get a dental bridge is if you have one or more missing teeth in your mouth. Dental bridges restore the look of your smile by replacing the missing tooth with one that can look as natural as the original.

Who is not a good candidate for a dental bridge? ›

Dental bridges are not ideal for patients with gingivitis, periodontal disease, or other infections. They can cause bruising and damage to the gum as you take time to be comfortable using them. Undergo treatment for other dental issues first.

What is the success rate of dental bridges? ›

Dental implants are 95% to 98% successful for 40 to 50+ years. Success rates for dental implants do not decrease over time. Success rates for bridges decreases steadily after 10 years. At 15 years, 1 in 3 bridges will typically fail.

Why is a doctor prefer bridge over implant? ›

On instances where you have two broken down teeth next to the missing tooth, a dental bridge would be preferable to an implant. This is because those teeth need crowns for extra protection. Bridges are more flexible when it comes to controlling the color of more than two teeth for a lesser price.

How painful is getting a dental bridge? ›

The bridge procedure is not painful because a local anesthetic is used while paring your teeth and when tyour dentist takes an impression. It is often unnecessary to take an analgesic for pain relief after the treatment.

Does food get under a dental bridge? ›

Dental Bridges

Since there's a space underneath the prosthetic tooth, it's easy for food to get trapped under or around a bridge. It's important to get regular checkups to make sure your dental bridge is fitting well. To dislodge food debris, it's helpful to carry interdental brushes and/or floss threaders with you.

Is it too late to get a dental bridge? ›

While the complexity of the case is unique to each patient, the answer is almost always yes. As long as there is enough bone remaining to insert a dental implant, it is never too late to reap the benefits of this remarkable restorative solution.

Does a dental bridge look natural? ›

Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.

How many teeth are needed for a bridge? ›

A dental bridge can take the place of a single tooth but is commonly used to restore two, three, four, or more teeth. The greater the number of missing teeth, the more crowns needed to support the bridge and the less stable the bridge tends to be.

Should I have a bridge or an implant? ›

In summary, the advantage of a dental bridge is its cheaper, quicker and is a less invasive treatment; on the other hand dental implants are more durable, do not require healthy teeth to be filed, have a better aesthetical result and in general provide a better long term solution.

Do dentists clean bridges? ›

Dental bridges are a great, permanent solution for replacing missing teeth. You don't have to deal with the inconvenience of having to remove dentures to clean them every day, and bridges are more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. However, dental bridges still require proper cleaning and maintenance every day.

Who is a good candidate for dental bridges? ›

What makes someone a good candidate for a dental bridge? Patients who are good candidates for dental bridges will have one or more missing teeth that have either fallen out or been extracted. They must also have two strong and healthy teeth I the mouth on each side of the area where teeth are missing.

What is the lifespan of dental bridge? ›

How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last? According to the Cleveland Clinic, dental bridges need to be replaced about every 5 to 7 years; however, the University of Rochester Medical Center reports they can also last for a decade or longer with the right care.

How often do dental bridges fall out? ›

Typically, a dental bridge lasts between 10-15 years in most cases.

Can you chew gum with a permanent bridge? ›

It is never a good idea to consume sticky foods, but it is an even worse idea when you have dental bridges or crowns. Sticky foods can get stuck in the dental restoration and pull it right out. Foods like caramel, fruit snacks, gum, and sticky candies should not be consumed when you have dental restorations.

Is a bridge cheaper then an implant? ›

A bridge is much less expensive than implants, and with CEREC technology, a bridge can be placed in a single visit. However, a bridge is much less stable than an implant and usually lasts for about 10 years if you follow a sound oral health regimen.

How long does it take to put a bridge in? ›

A dental bridge procedure usually takes two to three weeks to complete. The first step in the procedure is to prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a small amount of enamel. This creates a small ledge that the dental bridge will sit on.

How do you clean under a dental bridge? ›

As the bridges are joined, a floss cannot pass through between the teeth units within the bridge from the top (occlusal surface). Thus, you can't floss between the bridge using regular floss. It's best to continue to clean under the bridge with a super floss, a floss threader or an interdental brush.

How long after a bridge can I eat? ›

Chewing: Do not chew hard foods on the restorations for 24 hour from the time they were cemented. The cement must be mature for about 24 hours to have optimum strength.

Do they shave your teeth for a bridge? ›

Traditional Bridges

Your adjacent teeth need to be strong and healthy enough to support the bridge. The dentist shaves down the enamel of the natural teeth to accommodate the crown. We attach the crowns to the bridge to create a continuous set of teeth.

Do dental bridges damage teeth? ›

Through correct and regular brushing and flossing, you can make the dental bridge and the adjacent teeth last long without negative impacts. The porcelain used to build the bridge is sturdy but can be damaged when abused, consequently affecting the teeth connected to it.

Does food get stuck under dental bridge? ›

Dental Bridges

Since there's a space underneath the prosthetic tooth, it's easy for food to get trapped under or around a bridge. It's important to get regular checkups to make sure your dental bridge is fitting well. To dislodge food debris, it's helpful to carry interdental brushes and/or floss threaders with you.

What is the life expectancy of a dental bridge? ›

According to the Cleveland Clinic, dental bridges need to be replaced about every 5 to 7 years; however, the University of Rochester Medical Center reports they can also last for a decade or longer with the right care.

How long does a dental bridge usually last? ›

The Life Expectancy of Bridges

Some experts say that a dental bridge may last for just 5 – 7 years. However, others offer a different opinion and say that a bridge can easily last for 10 – 15 years. With proper care, it is even possible that a bridge could last a lifetime.


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