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Types of Dental Bridges—and How to Choose One

May 29, 2024

Bridges are a well-known method for replacing missing teeth, but a not-so-well-known fact is that they have various types. If you’re looking for dental bridges in Sioux City, you’d want to know about them.

Every patient has a unique dental situation. To fulfill each person’s needs, dentists can apply multiple types of bridges, suited for different situations and oral health goals. Let’s go over the most common dental bridges, and what can you do to identify which one is best for you.  

Cantilever Dental Bridges Sioux City

What Is a Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges replace missing teeth, be they one or an entire row. A dentist creates a custom bridge matching the shade of your natural teeth and fills the empty space by bonding the crowns on top of the surrounding teeth.

To understand the differences between types of bridges, first you need to know about the parts that make one:  

  • Abutments are the structures that support your bridge. They can be your natural teeth, or small connector posts used in bridges supported by dental implants.  
  • Pontics are the replacement teeth that fill in the gap left behind.

Depending on the type, bridges can have one or more abutments, and one or more pontics    

Types of Dental Bridges

Traditional Dental Bridge

These are the most common types of dental bridge. They consist of dental crowns on both ends and pontics in between. The crowns are bonded to your natural teeth (abutments) surrounding either side of the gap.

Dentists can only use traditional dental bridges if your abutments, or surrounding teeth, are healthy. If not, there’s a risk that the bridge won’t last, and it may cause further damage to your oral health.

Cantilever Dental Bridge

Cantilever bridges only require one crown to support them, making them a fantastic alternative for people who don’t want to harm their surrounding healthy teeth. The prosthetic tooth, or pontic, "hangs over" the tooth gap.

This makes them less durable than traditional bridges, but if you only have natural teeth on one side of the gap, cantilever bridges are the only alternative.  

Maryland Dental Bridge

Resin-bonded bridges, also known as Maryland bridges, are secured to the backs of neighboring teeth by a porcelain frame or metal wing. They do not require any work on your remaining healthy teeth but are less secure.

They are generally used to replace front teeth, as these appliances aren’t strong enough to withstand the chewing force needed for back teeth. Maryland bridges can also be an interim solution for teenagers to have until their growth is completed and a more permanent tooth replacement method can be explored.  

Implant-Supported Dental Bridge

As the name indicates, these bridges use dental implants to hold the pontic in place. You don’t need to have any surrounding teeth to support the bridge, making them the only choice for people with surrounding teeth whose condition is not good enough to sustain a crown.

Dentists also use implant-supported bridges when you have three or more missing teeth in a row. Before attaching a bridge to dental implants, they must be fully integrated with your jawbone, so the process for implant-supported bridges can last from three to six months.  

Implant-Supported Dental Bridges Sioux City

Get All Types of Dental Bridges in Sioux City

Learning about all the different kinds of bridges can be a little overwhelming at first, but this diversity means that here at Wheelock and Associates Dentistry, we can customize a bridge to meet your specific needs in a lot of ways.

At the end of the day, our goal will always be to help our patients. If you’d like to hear more, reach out!

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