Need A Dental Bridge? What You Should Know About Your Options

If your dentist has suggested a bridge to address a missing tooth, it's important that you know what your options are. There are three different types of dental bridges to choose from, and the best one for your situation is going to depend on the condition of your remaining teeth in the area of the missing one. Here's a look at the options that are available to you to help you choose the one that's right for your needs.

Fixed Bridge

A fixed bridge is one with a false tooth anchored between two crowns. The crowns attach to the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth. In most situations, the teeth on either side will have to be sculpted to fit the crowns. The whole thing is bonded together as a single component, then it is anchored into your mouth by cementing the two crowns in place. You can opt for a fixed bridge even if you have fillings in either tooth around the missing one, because the fillings can be used as a foundation to secure the crown.

Cantilever Bridge

A cantilever bridge is unique in its design, because it only attaches on one side, either the left or the right of where the false tooth is placed. It is similar in the fact that it cements onto the existing tooth to keep it in place, though. Although it doesn't require an attachment on both sides to stay in place, it does need to be in a part of your mouth that isn't stressed by chewing, making it a better candidate for a front tooth replacement than a molar.

Bonded Bridge

Bonded bridges replace a missing tooth by attaching a replacement with metal bands and some resin cement. The resin cement secures the metal bands to the teeth on either side of the replacement. It's often chosen for teeth that aren't heavily used, such as front teeth. Molars aren't good candidates for a bonded bridge, because they are stressed more when eating.

A bonded bridge is often more cost-effective than a fixed bridge, but it isn't right for every patient. It's only an ideal option for patients whose teeth are healthy and well maintained in the area. If the surrounding teeth are weak or have fillings, they won't be strong enough to support a bonded bridge.

With the information presented here, you can understand enough about the different types of dental bridges to determine which one is going to be the best piece for your needs.