If you lose a tooth through decay or injury it is important to fill the gap as soon as possible, this is not purely for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons, but also to maintain the health of your gums and facial bones.
Dental bridges replicate the natural bridges found in your mouth. The missing tooth is replaced using supports on either side of the replacement to bridge the gap and provide a stable and permanent solution.
The gap created by a missing tooth can lead to crookedness in your remaining teeth; a dental bridge prevents your healthy teeth from moving out of place. They also help you with chewing and speaking normally by maintaining the balance of your bite. The most important benefit for most people is that they enable you to maintain your original smile.
There are three types of Dental Bridge.
1. The traditional bridge uses an abutment tooth (which supports the bridge) on either side of the replacement tooth. This method requires the abutment teeth to be crowned, normally the replacement tooth and crowns are made from porcelain. An example can be seen below.
2. The Maryland dental bridge uses a replacement tooth which is attached with metal wings to the teeth on either side of it. The advantage of this method is the teeth on either side of the replacement do not need to be fitted with porcelain crowns.
3. If the false tooth can only be supported on one side this is called a cantilever dental bridge.