If you have one or more missing teeth, you are not alone. In fact, The American Dental Association says that the average adult has three or more decayed or missing teeth. Finding the right replacement is the key to a confident smile, and one of the most popular options are dental bridges. Here’s an overview of what types of bridges are available and what you can expect from each.
Traditional Dental Bridges
Traditional bridges are the most popular types of dental bridges. They are used when your natural teeth surround a missing tooth or gap on both sides. These bridges consist of one or more pontic teeth that are held in place by two abutment teeth. “Abutment teeth” are natural teeth that are given dental crowns to support the fake teeth, or “pontic teeth,” between them.
Traditional bridges, usually made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal, are strong enough to replace molars. However, there is a downside to traditional bridges. To put dental crowns on your adjacent teeth, your dentist will need to remove some of the enamel from the two teeth to make room for the crowns on top. Removing enamel is irreversible since enamel doesn’t grow back. These teeth will always need to be protected with crowns, even if you are fitted with a different type of dental bridge later on.