How Many Teeth Can Dental Bridges Replace
Tooth loss is a common problem among the general population. Several side effects have been associated with tooth loss. Missing teeth is linked to poor confidence due to the impact it has on aesthetics.
According to NCBI, a missing tooth can also affect a person’s bite, making it harder to chew. Several options exist for the replacement of a missing tooth. In the case of only one tooth, dental implants are sometimes used. When multiple teeth need to be replaced, dental bridges are often used instead.
Benefits of bridges
Dental bridges offer numerous benefits for the patient. One of the main advantages is the fact that bridges are fixed in place. The fixture can move around in the mouth with a denture, often used as an alternative.
A bridge does not add bulk to the patient’s oral cavity since it is fixed directly onto supporting teeth in the dentist’s office.
Apart from being fixed in the mouth, bridges also offer the following benefits:
- The patient experience a restoration of their smile at the side of the gap. This can greatly enhance the person’s confidence.
- Chewing at the side of the gap also greatly improves. The person will also find that they no longer experience pain when they chew, a common complaint among people who have lost a tooth.
- The fixture helps maintain the natural shape of the patient’s facial structure too.
- Once fixed, the structure also prevents other teeth in the surrounding area from shifting on either side of the mouth. This helps to promote improved oral health in the patient.
How dental bridges function
A dental bridge is a type of tooth replacement that offers a more permanent solution, particularly when compared to dentures. In some cases, a bridge is used alongside a dental implant.
The bridge is custom-made for the patient and can replace a tooth or teeth, depending on the patient’s needs. Once placed, the bridge remains fixed and will blend with the patient’s remaining teeth.
The bridge is often used with artificial teeth. This is useful when the patient lost their natural tooth in the area. Metal or porcelain materials can be used to create a strong structure.
Dental crowns are often used at the upper surface of a bridge. Abutment teeth are needed for the placement of the bridge. There will often be two abutment teeth used to provide support for the bridge, but this depends on the needs of the individual.
Number of teeth a dental bridge can replace
One of the major advantages of a dental bridge is the fact that these are customizable structures. In most cases, a dentist will use a dental bridge to replace between one and four teeth. The patient needs to be carefully inspected by the dentist first, as certain criteria need to be met before a bridge is used.
There are rare cases where a bridge is used to replace five or more teeth too. The dentist decides on an option based on the patient’s situation and findings during an oral examination in these situations.
Types of bridges
Different types of bridges exist. Patients should understand how they differ, which makes the process of choosing the right bridge-type easier. Here is an overview of the different bridge types that are available:
The traditional option uses a dental crown and a tooth that is fixed onto abutment teeth. Traditional bridges are often used to replace molars too.
The cantilever bridge is similar to the traditional option, but the bridge is only fixed to a single supporting tooth.
A Maryland bridge differs from a traditional option by using a porcelain or metal framework during the bonding process.
If the patient has multiple missing teeth, then an impact-supported bridge may be used. In this case, implants are first provided to the patient. Once installed, they will be used to provide support for the bridge.
Bridges offer a good option for people with multiple teeth that needs to be replaced. Different types of dental bridges exist, which gives the patient several options to choose from. The bridge is made to resemble the appearance of natural teeth and assists in restoring the aesthetics of the patient’s smile.