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What Can Bridges Attach To?

Posted on 10/11/2021 by Alexandra Garcia DDS MS
What Can Bridges Attach To?For people missing one or more teeth in one area, dental bridges are a common restorative treatment. A bridge is a row of durable replacement teeth that literally “bridges” the gap where you have lost one or more teeth. There are different types of dental bridges, and the way they are placed depends on the health of your remaining teeth.

Bridges That Attach to Your Natural Teeth

Typically, a bridge consists of an artificial tooth adjoined to two dental crowns. The crowns attach to your natural teeth on either side of the gap where you lost a tooth or had one extracted. This means that the two neighboring teeth surrounding the gap need to be healthy enough to support the bridge and hold it in place. If you develop a cavity in either of these teeth, the bridge could fail.

Besides traditional bridges, Maryland bridges also attach to your natural teeth. However, Maryland bridges use metal wings or clips to attach to your teeth instead of crowns. Maryland bridges are not recommended for back teeth, since the forces of chewing can dislodge the metal wings. Traditional bridges can be used for any missing tooth, since crowns are highly durable. Both traditional and Maryland bridges are great ways to restore your smile if you are missing a single tooth or a few teeth in one area, but the rest of your teeth are generally healthy.

Bridges That Attach to Dental Implants

If the teeth surrounding your gap are not strong enough to support a bridge, or if you have gum disease or other oral health issues, you may require an implant-supported bridge. An implant-supported bridge is the same as a traditional bridge, except the crowns attach to dental implants rather than healthy abutment teeth. Implants provide extra support to the bridge, plus they prevent bone loss and teeth shifting. However, implants require surgery that involves several months of recovery so the implant can fully fuse with your jaw, and an implant-supported bridge is significantly more expensive than a traditional or Maryland bridge. Contact us to see which option is best for you.
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