Missing teeth would have left gaps in your smile making it difficult for you to open your mouth before everyone. Fortunately, your dentist can bridge the gaps with a dental bridge which is a false tooth also known as a Pontic that is held in place by abutment teeth on both sides of the gap. The Pontic can be fabricated from different materials like gold but generally, they are fabricated from porcelain to blend in with your natural teeth.
If you want to have this option for closing the gaps in your smile you will be able to find four varieties on offer. They are traditional, cantilever, Maryland, and implant-supported.
A traditional dental bridge will have a false tooth or teeth held in place by dental crowns bonded onto the abutment teeth. This is the most popular variety and can be used when natural teeth exist on both sides of the gap left behind by the missing tooth.
A cantilever bridge a similar to the traditional variety but the Pontic is held in place by a dental crown that is bonded to just one abutment teeth. For this variety, you need to have just one natural tooth next to the gap created by the missing tooth.
The Maryland dental bridge is again similar to the traditional variety but needs two natural abutment teeth on each side of the gap. However, unlike the traditional variety that uses dental crowns on the abutment teeth, a Maryland bridge will need a framework fabricated from metal or porcelain bonded to the back of the abutment teeth. This is similar to a traditional bridge and therefore is only useful when you have a natural tooth on either side of the gap created by the missing tooth.
Implant-supported bridges utilize dental implants in contrast to dental crowns or frameworks. One implant needs to be inserted for every missing tooth to hold the bridge in position. If it is not possible to have one implant for every missing tooth the bridge can have a Pontic suspended between a couple of implant-supported crowns. This is considered as the strongest and most stable system and will require a couple of surgeries for the placement.
You will be affected in many ways when you have a missing tooth or several missing teeth. These changes can be addressed by bridges to:
The biggest problem you will encounter when you consider bridges to close the gaps is the price of the restorations. The price can be affected by many variables including:
The costs will also depend on the type of bridge you choose for yourselves. During your initial consultation for the replacement of your tooth or teeth, the dentist will examine you to determine if you are suitable for them. If you have a problem with teeth grinding and clenching you will be considered unsuitable for bridges because they can be dislodged by the problem.
The prices of dental Bridges may also concern you because the traditional and cantilever varieties can cost between $ 2000 and $ 5000 for one Pontic and a crown for each abutment teeth. Maryland bridges will cost $ 1500-$ 2500 for a Pontic with the framework or wings on the abutment teeth. Implant-supported bridges will cost you $ 5000-$ 15,000 for a bridge with a couple of dental implants spanning 3 to 4 teeth.
Dental insurance plans are covering bridges as well as dental implants. Bridges may need to be replaced every 5 to 15 years but implants can be considered as a permanent solution. Some factors can reduce the life of all varieties of bridges and implants especially if you are not maintaining proper oral hygiene. Therefore it is suggested that you discuss your options with your dentist before you decide this is the best option to bridge the gaps between your teeth.