Dental bridges are a restorative and cosmetic dental treatment that renews your smile to bring back confidence and function. If you ever lose a permanent tooth, a dental bridge can replace the tooth by bridging the gap between the two remaining adjacent teeth. If you’re thinking about replacing a missing tooth, here are some interesting facts about dental bridges.
1. Dental Bridges Are Supported by Other Teeth
Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental bridges rely on the support of remaining teeth. While this does put added pressure on those teeth, it also prevents them from shifting into the empty space and throwing off your bite.
Using other teeth to support your dental bridge also means that there’s no need for surgical interventions, like implants, making the process less invasive. However, the adjacent teeth do need to be strong and healthy to properly anchor the bridge and ensure its longevity.
2. Bridges Have Been Around for a While
Dental bridges have ancient origins. Civilizations like the Egyptians and Etruscans, as early as 700 BC, recognized the importance of replacing missing teeth. They crafted rudimentary bridges from materials available to them, such as gold, silver, and even animal teeth or teeth from other humans.
These early solutions reflected not just aesthetic concerns, but an understanding of the functional importance of a full dental arch. Archaeological findings have revealed these early prosthetics, showcasing the ingenuity of ancient dental practitioners. Over time, dental bridges have evolved, but their foundational role in oral health and society’s quest for aesthetic perfection remains unchanged.
3. Bridges Can Last Up to 15 Years!
Dental bridges, when well-maintained, offer a long-lasting solution to missing teeth. Typically, with proper care and regular dental check-ups, a dental bridge can last between 5 and 15 years, or even longer.
The lifespan of a bridge depends on various factors including the material used, the overall health of the patient, oral hygiene practices, and the structural integrity of supporting teeth or implants.
Avoiding excessive pressure or strain on the bridge, like chewing hard foods or objects, can also prolong its longevity. Regular dental visits ensure early detection of potential problems and can extend the functional life of a dental bridge.
4. Dental Bridges Can Come in a Variety of Materials
Dental bridges have evolved significantly in terms of materials used. Traditionally, gold and other metal alloys were popular for their durability. However, aesthetics became a concern, leading to the introduction of porcelain-fused-to-metal bridges which combined strength with a more natural look.
Today, all-porcelain or ceramic bridges are highly favored for their ability to mimic the translucency and color of natural teeth. Zirconia, a contemporary material, offers both strength and beauty, becoming a preferred choice for many patients. Newer composite materials are also gaining traction. The variety of materials available ensures that bridges can be tailored to individual needs and preferences.
5. Types of Bridges
Dental bridges come in several types to cater to diverse dental needs:
- Traditional bridges involve a crown on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (replacement tooth) in between. They’re the most common type and require surrounding teeth for support.
- Cantilever bridges are similar but are anchored to only one adjacent tooth, making them suitable for cases where only one side has adjacent teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges employ metal or porcelain wings bonded to existing teeth on one or both sides of the gap.
- Implant-supported bridges utilize dental implants as anchors, providing a sturdy foundation without relying on neighboring natural teeth.
Utilize These Interesting Facts Today!
Whether you want to restore function, complete your smile, or eat freely, dental bridges will give you a durable, seamless, and long-lasting smile. Call McCullough Dental today to schedule a consultation and see if dental bridges are a good choice for you.