Tooth loss results in gaping holes; for many who live with this condition, life continues. However, it appears many of them are oblivious to the potential risk and further damage to oral health. For example, it is only a matter of time before the remaining teeth of people living with this condition begin to drift and shift; that’s just one of it; another is that the condition of the gum could deteriorate even further as a result of direct exposure to pressure of mastication and activities of bacteria and pathogens
One of the remedial measures that can be taken to forestall the occurrence of all of these potential risks is having gaping holes covered by dental implants or bridges; dental bridges may not work so much like an artificial tooth but they very well serve the purpose of covering the gaps and protecting the surface of the tooth gum.
Dental bridges are tooth look-alikes made of artificial materials designed as substitutes for the missing teeth of patients; it is designed in such a way that they look really identical with other teeth. Fitting them into gaps require that they get some form of support from the adjoining teeth that mark the bounds of the gap. A lot of meticulous surgical due diligence goes into designing a dental bridge for a gap in the teeth as all gaps are not of the same length; more so, they could be located in various positions of the tooth arc; these critically are the factors that determine the type dental bridge that would be suitable for covering gaps in the teeth. Making a dental bridge designed just to fit into the gaping holes of a patient’s teeth can take quite some time so in the interim, the dentist often provides a temporary bridge for patients.
Types of Dental Bridges
The various types of dental bridges available are classified based on the materials they are made of and how they fit into; while some are made of frail materials like porcelain and metal, alumina or zirconia, are more sturdy components that could be used in making others. Having done preliminary analysis and assessment, a dentist recommends the type of dental bridge a patient should use. However, there are generally three types of dental bridges. They are:
Fixed Bridge – They are made up of a permanent artificial tooth and crowns for holding them in place securely. Usually, the artificial tooth is fixed in such a way that it covers the gap in-between two teeth while it is held firmly in a natural position by crowns cemented to the teeth on both sides of the artificial tooth.
A Cantilever Bridge – Where there aren’t teeth on both side of a gap, a Cantilever bridge is used; like the fixed bridge it has artificial teeth but this time they come with crowns that can be bonded with just one adjacent tooth.
A Maryland Bridge – The mechanism for holding this type of bridge in place is somewhat different. Rather than using crowns, this type of bridge has an artificial tooth held naturally in the gap by wings made of porcelain or metals. They are designed to fill gaps in the front teeth as they can’t withstand the biting and chewing pressure on the molars of the back teeth.