Missing teeth compromise oral functions and can make a person uncomfortable showing their smile. If teeth are missing from the front of the mouth, the aesthetic effects are even more obvious. Fortunately, dental bridges can effectively address tooth loss.
At our dental practice, Dr. Everett E. Heringer can provide a dental bridge for the front teeth so that our Bismarck, ND, and Mandan, ND, patients can chew, laugh, and smile with confidence. Here, patients can learn more about the dental bridge techniques that are available to them when the front teeth have been lost.
Traditional Dental Bridge
A traditional dental bridge is usually a good option for missing front teeth. A traditional bridge consists of three parts. One part, the pontic piece, is the center portion of the dental bridge. This piece is a restoration that is designed to mimic the natural teeth that have gone missing. A pontic can replicate a single tooth or a small set of teeth.
A traditional dental bridge is anchored, or held in place, by two dental crowns. One dental crown sits on each side of the pontic. Dental crowns are bonded to the two teeth that are directly adjacent to the area of tooth loss. The dental crowns provide strength and support to the dental bridge so that it can function like the natural teeth without slipping out of place.
Implant-supported bridges are another option that may be considered when the front teeth are missing. Like a traditional bridge, an implant-supported bridge consists of a pontic piece that resembles the set of teeth that have been lost. However, rather than being supported by dental crowns, an implant-supported bridge is secured to dental implants. Dental implants are small titanium screws that are surgically placed in the jaw where they fuse with the patient’s bone tissues.
An implant-supported bridge is strong, durable, and easy to clean. When recovery is complete, an implant-supported bridge will look and feel just like the natural teeth. One unique benefit of an implant-supported bridge is that it stimulates the tissues of the jawbone, which makes it the only dental restoration that prevents bone degeneration.
Additional Techniques for the Front Teeth
If teeth are missing from the side or back of the mouth, traditional and implant-supported bridges are good options. Missing front teeth are a little different. A person rarely bites down or chews with their front teeth, meaning that they do not sustain as much force as the side and back teeth. Because of this, alternate dental bridge techniques may be considered under certain circumstances.
One potential option is a cantilever bridge. A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge. The only difference is that a cantilever bridge is supported by just one dental crown, rather than two. This type of bridge is less common, but if a person has lost a tooth from the front of the mouth, it may be a suitable option.
Another possible option is a Maryland bridge. A Maryland bridge is not anchored to dental bridges or dental implants. When this technique is used, the pontic piece of the bridge has small ceramic or metal “wings” that bond to the back of adjacent teeth. A Maryland bridge is not as secure, and is only an option when a person has lost a single tooth from the front of the mouth.
Dental bridges are attractive restorations that can restore the function and beauty of the smile. Patients in Bismarck, Mandan, and surrounding areas can send us a message online or call (701) 255-4850 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Everett E. Heringer.