5 Types of Dental Bridges

5 Types of Dental Bridges: What Type is Best for Me?

5 most common types of dental bridges being used today: Traditional Bridges, Cantilever Bridges, Maryland Bridges, Composite Bridge (Ribbond or just bonded composite) and Implant Supported Bridges.

The design and placement of dental bridges is one of the most common and frequently used treatment methods for replacing missing teeth. There are many bridge types and options, available to remedy your restoration needs relative to your specific oral condition.

It’s important to make sure your hygiene and home care is maintained at an optimum level, if so, your bridge can last a very long time.

It is an unfortunate fact that most adults from 20 - 65 years of age (on average) are missing teeth, or currently have 3 diseased or decaying teeth that they’ll eventually lose.

What are the 5 most common types of dental bridges?

1. Traditional Bridges:

Types of Dental Bridges - Traditional - WestcoastTraditional bridges are the most popular types of dental bridges for restoring lost teeth. They can be used when you have natural teeth or implants on either side of the space left by your missing tooth.

They are usually small, lightweight and provide excellent chewing comfort, by redistributing your normal bite force compromised by your missing teeth.

If your hygiene and home care is maintained at a optimum level this type of bridge can last a long time.

The primary downside of traditional bridges is that enough enamel will need to be cut and removed from your abutment teeth to make room for the crowns. Therefore, since enamel doesn't regenerate itself, the abutment tooth/ teeth will always need to be protected by well fitted crowns. Their care, vitality and stability is mandatory for the long term life of your bridge.

2. Cantilever Bridges:

Types of Dental Bridges - Cantilever - WestcoastThis cantilever bridge is used when there is only one anchor tooth available to support the missing tooth or teeth. This bridge design is not recommended for use in the back of the mouth where too much bite force can be put on the abutment tooth. But it can work if it’s designed well and if the cantilevered tooth is the front tooth. The biting forces must be considered in the design which can be done by a good lab, making these types of dental bridges a valuable option when trying to save time and money.

3. Maryland Bridges:

Types of Dental Bridges - Maryland - WestcoastThis type of bridge is a winged bridge known for its conservative nature. These types of dental bridges are often referred to as a resin bonded bridge. Basically they’re designed with plastic teeth with similar gum material which is fortified by a metal frame.

Metal attachments located on opposing sides are bonded to existing anchor teeth. This special resin bonded form of bridge work is mainly used on front teeth, in cases where the adjoining teeth are still in stable condition.

The overwhelming benefit to these types of dental bridges is that your dentist will only need to make a minimal adjustment to the contour of the abutment teeth. The treatment is cost effective and relatively efficient compared to what it takes to design a traditional fixed bridge. As great as this Maryland bridge option is, a good assessment of your bite will be necessary to determine if it’s a viable option. Deep bites or cross bites are contraindicated for Maryland bridges.

The metal attachments on Maryland bridges tend to discolor which causes the abutment teeth to become darker over time, their also known to have a proclivity towards debonding. These types of dental bridges are often seen as temporary replacement appliances. There often used in the interim while your implant is healing, or if you are under 18 and you’re awaiting for your growth cycle to finish before installing an implant.

4. Composite Bridge (Ribbond or just bonded composite):

Types of Dental Bridges - Composite - WestcoastFor people with one or two missing teeth who are looking for an easy and affordable solution to their replacement issue, a composite bridge often fills the bill. There usually made and installed in one dental visit, in which a composite bonding material (which is the plastic tooth filling material) is placed directly into the missing space.

Patience is a virtue and a work of art when recreating a missing tooth with a composite material. Furthermore, you must be very careful with this bridge because of the debonding and chipping qualities of the materials used in the design. A reinforced wire or ribbon known as Ribbond can be used to provide more strength to a composite bridge. Similar to Maryland bridges, composites are considered temporary and can be used by people with periodontal disease who put off removing their compromised teeth until the very end.

5. Implant Supported Bridges:

Types of Dental Bridges - Implant Supported - WestcoastThe implant supported bridge has been rising in popularity over the years, because there is normally no damage to the adjoining natural teeth. There is no support needed by trimmed down tooth stubs with crowns or bulky substructures, these types of dental bridges are supported exclusively by implants. This type of bridge allows adequate spacing for you to clean between the dental implants, and if integrated well there incredibly stable.

Putting too many implants together has proven to lead to major complications, including implant failures and rejections. The plaque that sticks to the surface of the dental implant then tunnels under the gums destroying previously healthy bone (a disease known as Peri-implantitis). It’s paramount that your implant supported bridge is designed, so you clean it well. With 2 implant supporting a bridges, it’s actually easier and more effective than having 3 implants in a row.

We at WIC value this placement option because it saves you money and provides you with a worry free future, knowing you can keep you implants squeaky clean.

The amazing technological developments in implantology, products and procedures have made the use of implants nearly ideal for a one tooth replacement or multiple tooth bridge. Depending on the quality of your jaw bone, you may be eligible to replace your entire lower or upper arch with 4 – 6 strategically placed implants.

Any implant supported bridge restoration should provide you with a very secure and comfortable feeling, similar to your natural teeth. If your implants and general hygiene and over oral condition remain healthy they can last a lifetime.

If your bone quality and other oral dynamics are all thumbs up, you may be eligible to receive your entire restoration with a temporary bridge in one day. To learn more about the "All on 4" or "All on 6" implant restoration techniques, contact WIC in Hanoi or HCM City.

The 5 types of dental bridges discussed in this article obviously serve different needs and oral situations. Overall, the use of bridges (although not as effective as dental implants for the reasons stated above), remains a viable tooth/ teeth replacement treatment method.

Dr. An states, "WIC is committed to full disclosure regarding your case and treatment options, and to customizing your best long term solution. Whether you choose a bridge or dental implant, you owe to yourself to be certain you’re receiving the most optimal treatment to remediate your situation".

Contact the WIC either directly or send us an email, we’ll be glad to assist you with your restoration and other dental needs.

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