Dental bridges are prosthetic devices used in restorative dentistry to replace one or more missing teeth, helping restore both the functionality and aesthetics of the smile. A dental bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth, known as pontics, which are anchored in place by adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. The natural teeth or implants on either side of the gap are called abutments, and they serve as the support for the bridge.
The two primary types of dental bridges are traditional bridges and implant-supported bridges. Traditional bridges are secured by crowns placed on the abutment teeth adjacent to the gap. These crowns act as anchors for the pontic or pontics in between, effectively “bridging” the space.
In contrast, implant-supported bridges utilize dental implants as sturdy foundations for the artificial teeth. Implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, providing robust support for the bridge without affecting adjacent natural teeth. This option is often chosen for its stability and the preservation of neighboring teeth.
Dental bridges offer various benefits, including restoring the ability to chew and speak properly, maintaining facial structure, and enhancing the overall appearance of the smile. They also help distribute bite forces evenly and prevent the shifting of remaining teeth due to the gap left by missing teeth. The choice between traditional and implant-supported bridges depends on factors such as the patient’s oral health, the location of the missing teeth, and individual preferences. At Valley Oak Family Dentistry, our experienced dental professionals can assess your specific needs and recommend the most suitable type of dental bridge for your situation.