What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge literally bridges the gap between your existing teeth, replacing them with imitation teeth known as pontics. It can replace one or many teeth along your upper or lower dental arch. There are four basic types of dental bridges, each with its own pros and cons. Your dentist will help you decide which is right for you.
- Traditional bridge: A traditional bridge is attached at each end to a crowned natural tooth. Traditional bridges can be made of porcelain over a metal framework, or created entirely from ceramics.
- Cantilever bridge: A cantilever bridge is used when healthy natural teeth are available only on one side of the missing teeth. It is attached to one or two crowned teeth on one side, with no extra support on the other side. Cantilever bridges are not often used today, as dental implants provide a more secure alternative.
- Maryland bridge: A Maryland bridge is a less costly alternative to a traditional bridge. Instead of crowning the adjacent healthy teeth, the pontic is equipped with wings on either side. These wings are bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth. Maryland bridges are typically considered less aesthetic than traditional bridges, as the bonding can make the teeth appear slightly gray. An Encore bridge is a Maryland bridge made entirely of ceramics, which makes this effect less noticeable.
- Implant-supported bridge: An implant-supported bridge is an excellent alternative that leaves the healthy adjacent teeth undisturbed. Dental implants are placed at either end of a run of missing teeth, and the bridge is fixed to them. This is a highly aesthetic option, but it is more expensive than other alternatives.
At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.