When a patient is missing a permanent tooth, Dr. Clayton M. Hansen may recommend a dental bridge in American Fork, Utah. A bridge consists of a replacement tooth (pontic) attached to two adjacent crowns, which together form a structure that is bonded into the mouth. The crowns are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth are called the abutment teeth. Failure to replace missing teeth can cause teeth to shift, leading to malocclusion (bad bite), misaligned teeth and jaw problems.

There are three main kinds of dental bridges:

  • Traditional bridges — Traditional bridges, which are made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramics, are the most common type of bridge. They consist of a crown for each abutment tooth with a false tooth in between. These are used when a gap has teeth on either side and are one of the most common dental restorations.
  • Cantilever bridges — Cantilever bridges are used when there is only an adjacent tooth on one side of the gap, and they were a typical way to replace a missing front tooth. These bridges are not common anymore, though, because of their strict placement limitations and higher risk of damage or failure.
  • Maryland bonded bridges — Also known as a resin-bonded partial denture, Maryland bonded bridges consist of porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or plastic teeth and gums that are supported by a metal or porcelain framework. The framework has wings on either side of the dental bridge that is bonded to your teeth. This type of bridge does not cover either of the abutment teeth, which means that those teeth do not need to be ground down to receive a crown. This type of bridge helps to preserve the most tooth structure of any type of bridge, though metal fused to teeth can result in a darker appearance.

When you come into our office for your restoration consultation, we will explain the options you have for replacing your missing tooth or teeth and help you decide which one will be best for your oral health.

To learn more and to schedule your next appointment with our dentist, contact our dental office today.