If you have missing teeth, a dental bridge can be used to fill or bridge the gaps in your smile.
A dental bridge is a false tooth, or teeth, held in place by crowns on either side of the gap (known as abutments). These false teeth are called pontics. These are usually made of porcelain, gold, or alloys. Dental bridges can be supported by either natural teeth or implants.
Low-cost dental bridges are available in Mexico, Thailand, El Salvador, and Costa Rica, where one can save 60-70% of the prices charged in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Missing teeth can affect you in a number of ways. Here is how dental bridges help:
- Restore your smile
- Reestablish the ability to chew properly
- Make speech clearer
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Prevent the remaining teeth from moving out of position
Types of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are classified in two ways-
According to the first classification, there are two types: fixed and removable dental bridges.
A removable dental bridge (also known as a denture) is made when there are not enough teeth in the mouth for the setting up of a fixed dental bridge.
- Pros: Cheaper than fixed bridges.
- Cons: Rest on the gums, and they can lead to resorption of the bone from excess pressure over time.
A fixed dental bridge stays in the mouth permanently. It is cemented onto the abutment teeth. You can brush and floss just like you did before.
- Pros: These do not need to be removed, very esthetic, retentive and they make it easier to chew food. They feel more like natural teeth than removable bridges.
- Cons:Teeth need to be trimmed to make space for the porcelain and/or metal of the abuttment crowns
Further, fixed bridges can be of four types:
Traditional Dental Bridges
- The most popular kind of dental bridge. It consists of a false tooth or teeth (also known as pontics) being held in place by dental crowns/abutments. These would be cemented onto your adjacent teeth.
- They are usually made of either porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) or ceramics.
- Traditional bridges can be used when you have natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by your missing tooth or teeth.
- The downside of these bridges is that your adjacent teeth need to be trimmed down to make room for the crowns.
Cantilever Dental Bridges
- Used to replace only a single missing tooth.
- These are similar to traditional fixed bridges, but the pontic is supported by a crown on only one side.
- The pontic is attached to one tooth and then hangs over, filling the gap.
- Therefore, if there is only one natural tooth next to the gap, a bridge can still be secured.
- These are not recommended in the back of the mouth as they cannot bear the full force of a patient’s bite. This can lead to fracture and failure of the restoration.
Maryland Dental Bridges
- Also called resin-bonded bridges.
- Typically, used to replace front teeth.
- A pontic is held in place by a metal or porcelain framework. This framework is bonded onto the backs of the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.
- Tooth preparation of adjacent teeth is less.
- The strength of the bridge is limited by the strength of the resin that holds it in place; It is not recommended for the back teeth like the molars.
Implant-supported Dental Bridges
- Considered the strongest and most stable type of dental bridge.
- Recommended when a patient has more than one tooth missing.
- Dental implants are used to support bridges instead of adjacent abutment teeth.
- In general, one implant is surgically placed for every missing tooth. If one implant for each missing tooth isn’t possible, the bridge may have a pontic suspended between two implant-supported crowns.
Procedure to Get a Dental Bridge
- Tooth Preparation: Adjacent teeth are re-contoured. This allows room for a crown to be placed over them.
- Impressions: Impressions are taken, and models of the teeth are made. They serve as molds from which a dental lab makes the bridge.
- Temporary Bridge: The dentist will fix a temporary bridge on the prepared teeth using temporary cement.
- Removal of the temporary bridge.
- The permanent bridge is then cemented. It is followed by making adjustments to achieve a proper and comfortable fit.
- Recall visits may be required to check the fit of the framework and the bite. This varies depending on each patient’s case.
- If it is a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a few days to ensure a good fit. Once you are satisfied with the fit, the bridge is cemented into place, using a stronger more permanent cement.
Dental Bridge Vs Dental Implant
To replace missing teeth, you can either get a dental bridge, or you can opt for dental implants. Which treatment is right for you? Let’s take a look.
|Basis of Comparison||Dental Bridges||Dental Implants|
|Surgery||Usually not required||Required|
|Time||Can be done in a single visit||A second visit is required|
|Tooth Preparation||Adjacent teeth are trimmed, which affects their strength||No impact on surrounding teeth.|
|Longevity||Most bridges can last about 10 years.ResearchGate Longevity of fixed metal ceramic bridge “On the basis of severe and extensive complications, the overall survival after 10 years was 84%. Long bridges had lower survival than the shorter ones.” View in Article With proper care they can last longer.||With proper care, they can last a lifetimeWiley Online Library Survival and Complications of dental implants “The long-term implant survival and complication rates at patient level were 83% and 79%, respectively.” View in Article The crowns may need to be changed, but the implant screw may not need replacement.|
How Much Does a Dental Bridge Cost?
The cost of dental bridges varies by the material used, the number of missing teeth to be replaced, and the country you are getting the procedure performed.
|Country||Regular Bridge||Implant Supported|
|New Zealand||$2,738||$8,215 onwards|
A traditional 3-unit bridge which can cost around $2,000 in the U.S. and $2,738 in New Zealand starts at only $300 in Mexico and Costa Rica.
Along with the advantage of an overseas holiday, these destinations provide affordable dental treatments.
Dental Bridges FAQs
1. Will I have trouble eating with a dental bridge?
Adjusting to your bridge might take a few days. Until you become accustomed to the bridge, eat soft foods and take small bites.
2. Will the dental bridge impact my speech?
The dental bridge does not impact your speech, although a little adjustment time may be needed.
3. What are the disadvantages of dental bridges?
For a bridge, the adjacent teeth must be trimmed.
In the case of healthy teeth, the idea of cutting them down to prepare for a bridge is not ideal. Every time you cut a tooth, you weaken it.
In such cases, dental implants are an excellent alternative.
4. How many teeth can a dental bridge replace?
A dental bridge can be used to fill gaps between a few to several missing teeth.
Long-span traditional bridges are not preferred for patients with several missing teeth.
It is recommended that they opt for implant-supported bridges.
5. How do I care for a dental bridge?
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Floss daily to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Keep a balanced and nutritious diet.
- Visit your dentist every 6 months for a checkup.
We offer low-cost dental bridges abroad for people without dental insurance. Contact us now for more information!