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Your Complete Buyer’s Guide to Dental Bridges

If you have missing teeth, you are not alone. The American College of Prosthodontists reports that a significant number of Americans are dealing with tooth loss. 

Approximately 178 million individuals have lost at least one tooth, while over 35 million no longer have any teeth in their mouth. This information highlights the prevalence of this dental issue among the population. 

When teeth are missing, it can cause several problems that impact daily life. Basic activities like chewing and speaking can become challenging. Additionally, individuals may experience a loss of self-confidence as a result.Fortunately, there is a solution: dental bridges. These prosthetic devices not only restore function but also improve the appearance of your smile.

perfect smile
perfect smile

Understanding Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are like permanent replacements for missing teeth. They have a fake tooth (or teeth) in the middle, called pontics, and two caps on each side. These caps go on the nearby teeth next to the empty space. The caps keep the bridge in its place, making a kind of “bridge” over the space where the tooth (or teeth) is missing.

Types of Dental Bridges

You can choose from these main types of dental bridges: traditional, cantilever, and Maryland (resin-bonded). Each type has its own set of pros and cons, making it important to consider carefully before deciding on the best option for you.

Traditional Bridges

Not the obsolete type, but traditional bridges are actually th most commonly used one. They consist of two dental crowns with a pontic (false tooth) in between them. The crowns are placed over the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap, and the pontic is suspended between them to fill in the space. Traditional bridges are typically made from porcelain fused with metal or ceramic material, making them strong and durable.


  • Strong and long-lasting
  • Can be a replacement for multiple teeth in a row
  • Look and feel like natural teeth


  • The adjacent teeth needs to be filed down to accommodate the placement of the crown
  • Can cause damage to healthy teeth if not fitted properly

Cantilever Bridges

Almost similar to traditional bridges, but cantilever bridges only use one dental crown as an anchor instead of two. This type of bridge is used when there is only one adjacent tooth next to the gap. However, because it is only supported by one tooth, cantilever bridges are not recommended for use in the back teeth where there is more pressure from chewing.


  • Can be used when there is only one adjacent tooth available
  • Do not require two teeth to be shaved down


  • Not as strong as traditional bridges and may need to be replaced sooner
  • Places more strain on the supporting tooth

Maryland Bridges

Maryland bridges, also known as resin-bonded bridges, use a metal or porcelain framework bonded to the back of adjacent teeth with composite resin. This type of bridge is typically used for front teeth where there is less pressure from chewing and there are no adjacent teeth on either side of the gap.


You don’t need to trim your good teeth.

  • You can take it out and put in a new one easily if needed.


  • Less stable than traditional bridges and may not last as long
  • May not be suitable for larger gaps or back teeth due to lower strength and durability

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dental Bridges

When deciding on the best type of dental bridge, there are several important factors to consider. These include oral health assessment and consultation with a dentist, esthetic considerations, longevity and durability of different bridge materials, and cost considerations.

Oral Health Assessment and Consultation with a Dentist

Before getting a dental bridge, it is important to have a thorough oral health assessment by a dentist. This will help determine if you are a suitable candidate for any type of dental bridge and what type would be best for your specific situation. Your dentist will also examine the health of your surrounding teeth to ensure they can support a dental bridge.

Esthetic Considerations

The aesthetic value of One of the main reasons people choose dental bridges is for aesthetic purposes. It is important to consider factors such as color and shape matching when choosing a dental bridge. A good dentist will take the time to match the bridge to your natural teeth, ensuring a seamless and natural-looking smile.

Longevity and Durability of Different Bridge Materials

Dental bridges can be created using different materials like porcelain, metal, or ceramic. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of longevity and durability. For example, porcelain bridges are known for their natural appearance but may not be as strong as metal bridges. 

On the other hand, metal bridges are very durable but may not look as natural. It is important to discuss these options with your dentist and consider which material will best suit your needs and budget.

Cost Considerations

The price of dental bridges can change based on the kind of bridge and materials. Talk to your dentist about costs, like insurance and how to pay. Some insurance may help with the cost, but not all plans do. Your dentist might also have ways to help you pay, like payment plans or financing.

Dietary Recommendations To Protect The Bridge Structure

After getting a dental bridge, it is important to take care of the structure to ensure its longevity. This includes following certain dietary recommendations to prevent any damage or complications. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid hard or sticky foods: Hard and sticky foods can put unnecessary pressure on the bridge, causing it to loosen or break. It is best to avoid chewing on hard candies, ice, or sticky foods like caramels.
  • Cut food into smaller pieces: Cutting food into smaller pieces can help reduce the amount of pressure put on the bridge while chewing. This is especially helpful for harder foods like apples or carrots.
  • Chew on both sides of your mouth: To distribute the pressure evenly, it is recommended to chew on both sides of your mouth. This helps prevent putting too much strain on one side where the bridge is located.
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks: Sugary foods and drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay, which can weaken the supporting teeth for the bridge. It is best to limit these types of foods and maintain good oral hygiene to keep your teeth and bridge healthy.
  • Avoid biting on non-food items: Biting on non-food items like pens or nails can cause damage to the bridge. It is important to break this habit to protect your dental bridge.
  • Be careful with hot and cold foods: Dental bridges can make teeth more sensitive to temperature changes. It is important to be cautious when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks, as they may cause discomfort.
  • Visit your dentist regularly: Regular check-ups with your dentist can help identify any issues with your bridge early on and prevent them from becoming more serious. Your dentist may also recommend specific dental products or cleaning techniques to maintain the health of your bridge.

Potential Complications or Issues To Watch Out For

Dental bridges are an excellent solution for replacing missing teeth, providing both aesthetic and functional benefits. However, like any dental procedure, there are potential complications or issues that patients should be aware of. 

By understanding and addressing these concerns, you can ensure the longevity and success of your dental bridge.

  • Loose or broken bridge: As mentioned earlier, hard or sticky foods can cause damage to the bridge. However, even with proper care, a bridge may become loose or broken due to natural wear and tear over time. If you notice any changes in the fit or stability of your bridge, it is important to visit your dentist for an evaluation.
  • Decay under the bridge: It is possible for tooth decay to develop underneath the supporting teeth of a dental bridge. This can happen if proper oral hygiene is not maintained or if the bridge is not fitted properly. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular check-ups with your dentist, can help prevent this issue.
  • Infection: If bacteria enters the gum tissue around the bridge, it can lead to an infection known as peri-implantitis. This can cause swelling, redness, and discomfort in the gum tissue. If left untreated, it can lead to bone loss and potential failure of the bridge. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits can help prevent this complication.
  • Allergic reaction: In rare cases, patients may experience an allergic reaction to the materials used in their dental bridge. This is most commonly seen with metal-based bridges and can cause inflammation, redness, and discomfort in the mouth. If you have a known allergy to certain metals, it is important to discuss this with your dentist before getting a dental bridge.
  • Sensitivity: Some patients may experience increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after getting a dental bridge. This is usually temporary and will subside over time as the mouth adjusts to the new bridge. If sensitivity persists, it is important to discuss this with your dentist as it could be a sign of an underlying issue.
  • Bite problems: A dental bridge should fit comfortably and not interfere with your natural bite. However, in some cases, a poorly fitted bridge can cause problems with biting and chewing. This can lead to discomfort or even damage to the bridge. If you experience any issues with your bite after getting a dental bridge, it is important to discuss this with your dentist so they can make necessary adjustments.
  • Decay: Although the artificial teeth in a dental bridge cannot get cavities, the natural teeth supporting the bridge can still develop decay if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. It is important to continue brushing and flossing regularly to keep your natural teeth and bridge clean and healthy.
  • Speech changes: In some cases, a dental bridge can affect the way you speak. This is usually temporary and will subside as your mouth adjusts to the new bridge. If speech changes persist, it is important to discuss this with your dentist so they can make necessary adjustments to ensure proper fit and comfort.
  • Discomfort: It is common to experience some discomfort after getting a dental bridge, especially in the first few days. This can include soreness in the gums or jaw and difficulty eating. Over-the-counter pain medication can help alleviate any discomfort. If discomfort persists or becomes severe, it is important to contact your dentist for further guidance.

How long does a dental bridge usually last?

 With proper care and maintenance, a dental bridge can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. Regular check-ups with your dentist are important to ensure the longevity of your bridge.

Can anyone get a dental bridge?

Not everyone is a candidate for a dental bridge. Your dentist will assess your oral health and determine if a dental bridge is the best option for you. Factors such as the condition of your remaining teeth, jawbone density, and overall health may affect your eligibility for a dental bridge.

Is getting a dental bridge painful?

The process of getting a dental bridge typically involves numbing the area with local anesthesia, so you should not feel any pain during the procedure. However, some discomfort may be experienced after the procedure as your mouth adjusts to the new bridge.

Can a dental bridge be repaired or replaced if damaged?

Depending on the extent of damage, a dental bridge may be repaired or replaced. This will depend on the condition of the abutment teeth and the pontics, as well as any other underlying issues that may have caused the damage. It is important to regularly visit your dentist for check-ups to catch any potential problems early on.

Dental bridges are a common and effective solution for replacing missing teeth. With proper care and regular check-ups with your dentist, they can last for many years. If you are considering getting a dental bridge, consult with your dentist to determine the best option for your oral health needs. Don’t let missing teeth affect your confidence and quality of life – consider a dental bridge today. 

Remember, a healthy smile starts with good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. So take care of your dental bridges and they will take care of you! Book an appointment with Aesthetic General Dentistry today and see if a dental bridge is the right for you. 

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