If you have lost a tooth or have an adult tooth that is loose, you may be wondering about your options for restorative dentistry. That is a fancier way of asking how you can fix the current or future gaps in your smile. Fortunately, with modern dentistry, people with missing teeth do have choices. One of them is the dental bridge.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth that is held in place by the teeth on either side of the gap. Bridges are usually made of porcelain and can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Typically they have a lifespan of 5-15 years. There are four main types of dental bridges:
Traditional bridge – This type of bridge is an artificial tooth that is held in place by two crowns that have been placed on the teeth on either side of the gap. The crowns stabilize the teeth so the bridge can hold. This is the most common type of bridge.
Cantilever bridge – A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, but it’s held in place by only one dental crown. This will obviously be less secure than a traditional bridge, but for some patients it may be the best or most affordable option.
Maryland bridge – A Maryland bridge is held in place by teeth on either side of the gap. However, instead of those teeth being crowned, the bridge is held in place by a framework of metal or porcelain that is bonded to the backs of the abutment teeth.
Dental implants bridge – An implant-supported dental bridge is one that relies on dental implants to hold it in place. Usually one implant will be inserted for every missing tooth in order to provide the most stability. If that is not possible, implants on either side of the gap will have to do the supporting. This is the most stable option, but it is also the most expensive and it takes the longest to accomplish because multiple surgeries are necessary.
How Much Does a Dental Bridge Cost?
The cost of a dental bridge will vary depending on the number of teeth that you are missing and how much work the dentist will need to do to make sure the bridge has a stable foundation. If you need an implant or two, it will cost more than if you have healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth.
A dental bridge is functional, not just cosmetic dentistry. It does restore the beauty of your smile, but it also helps fix the other problems that come with missing teeth. A bridge will restore your ability to chew, to bite properly, to speak, and it will also reshape your face and stop your other teeth from migrating around to fill in the empty space.
If you’re looking for a Grand Rapids dentist for restorative dentistry, call us at Dental Associates of West Michigan. We will be happy to go through all the options available to fix your smile and improve your oral health. You don’t need to live with missing teeth or gaps. A better solution is possible!