Different Types Of Dental Bridges
Looking to fill the gaps in your smile? Let’s discover the different types of dental bridges that are available in Australia. From the classic strength of traditional bridges to the latest in implant technology, there’s most likely an option that’s right for you and your dental needs. We’ll discuss materials that include gleaming porcelain and robust zirconia and how they contribute to a functional and polished look.
By the end of this article, you’ll have the essential knowledge to choose a dental solution with confidence. Let’s begin your journey to a complete and confident smile.
What are the Different Types Of Dental Bridges in AU?
Dental bridges in Australia come in a variety of forms to accommodate the diverse needs of patients looking to restore their smile.
- Traditional Fixed Bridge: This is the most common type of bridge, involving a false tooth typically anchored by a dental crown on each side. It relies on natural teeth or dental implants on either side of the gap, making it a reliable structure for restoring a single tooth or more.
- Maryland Bonded Bridge (Resin-Bonded Bridge): This bridge features a metal framework that attaches to the backs of the adjacent teeth. Since the procedure is minimally invasive, this bridge type does not usually require any alteration of the surrounding natural teeth.
- Cantilever Bridge: The Cantilever Bridge utilizes only one abutment tooth next to the open space. It is suitable for areas with less stress, such as the front of the mouth, where the bite remains unaffected.
- Implant-Supported Bridge: The most robust option is the Implant-Supported Bridge, where the dental implants serve as anchors directly into the jawbone. Ideal for when traditional bridges aren’t viable due to a lack of adjacent teeth or when it is needed for improving overall oral health.
These types of bridges offer solutions tailored to a patient’s specific condition, blending functionality and aesthetics. Whether it’s a temporary bridge or a permanent fixture, each option aims to restore the integrity of the patient’s bite and the appearance of their smile.
Traditional Fixed Bridge
A Traditional Fixed Bridge is a durable type of bridge commonly used for dental restorations that involve inserting a fake tooth that is anchored by dental crowns.
This popular solution requires reshaping the healthy teeth adjacent to the missing ones, which will serve as pillars for the bridge. The process usually involves two main visits to the clinic: one to prepare the abutment teeth and take impressions, and a second to fit and affix the bridge with dental cement.
While it is a more invasive option, it’s favored for its strength and the ability to prevent teeth from shifting, which can cause gum disease or decay. As one of the popular types of bridges, it offers a semi-permanent replacement that blends seamlessly with natural teeth, restoring the patient’s smile and bite functionality.
Maryland Bonded Bridge
The Maryland Bonded Bridge is a conservative alternative that minimises the need to alter healthy teeth.
It is often used as a front tooth replacement. The Maryland Bonded Bridge uses a prosthetic device with wings that attach to the back of adjacent teeth using dental cement. This type of bridge can be fitted with less removal of tooth enamel, preserving more of the patient’s natural tooth structure. The installation process generally requires a couple of visits to the dental clinic—one for taking impressions and another for fitting the bridge. Although not as strong as traditional options, this bridge is advantageous for its minimal invasiveness and quick recovery time.
A Cantilever Bridge is unique because it is supported on one end by one or more healthy teeth while the other end remains free.
This type of bridge is suitable when there are no teeth on one side of the gap or when conserving tooth structure is a priority. The preparation and process are similar to the traditional bridge, with precise impressions taken to create a custom-fitted artificial tooth. Although it’s less common than other bridge options, a Cantilever Dental Bridge can be a viable solution in certain cases where other bridges are not suitable. It requires thorough examination and planning to ensure the long-term health of the supporting tooth and to prevent undue stress that could cause damage.
An Implant-Supported Bridge is an advanced solution for missing teeth that is effective where multiple consecutive teeth are absent.
This type of bridge uses titanium implants inserted into the jawbone to support the bridge, eliminating the need to file down healthy teeth. The process typically involves surgery to place the implants and requires a healing period before the bridge is attached. The outcome is a stable and sturdy replacement that closely mimics natural teeth both in function and appearance.
An Implant-Supported Dental Bridge also helps to preserve jawbone integrity and prevent bone loss, which contributes to the patient’s overall oral health. Since the process is more complex, it may require several visits to the clinic over a few months, but the results are often worth the investment. The Implant-Supported Bridge offers one of the most long-lasting and robust dental restorations available.
Materials Used in Dental Bridges
Dental bridges use a variety of materials, including porcelain, metal alloys, zirconia, and composite resin. Each material has its own set of health benefits that cater to different patient needs and preferences:
- Often preferred for its aesthetic appeal
- Can be tailored to match the colour of your natural teeth
- Biocompatible and well-tolerated by gum tissue
- Known for superior strength and durability
- Commonly used in areas of the mouth subject to greater biting forces
- May include gold, palladium, or a base-metal alloy like nickel or chromium
- Combines strength similar to metal with a colour that resembles natural teeth
- Highly resistant to cracking and wear
- Increasing in popularity due to its durability and tooth-like appearance
- A more cost-effective option
- Can be used for temporary bridges or as a part of a Maryland Bonded Bridge
- Not as durable as porcelain or zirconia but can be easily repaired or replaced
Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM):
- Offers the strength of metal with the natural appearance of porcelain
- Provides a good balance between durability and aesthetics
- The metal framework provides additional support to the porcelain for a stronger restoration
The choice of material for a dental bridge largely depends on the location of the missing tooth, the patient’s bite, aesthetic requirements, and budgetary considerations. Dental professionals carefully select the appropriate material to ensure optimal function, fit, and visual harmony with the patient’s existing teeth.
Take the Next Step with TLC Dental
Have you considered which dental bridge might be right for you? TLC Dental is here to guide you through the process. Our dental team will help restore your smile with the most suitable dental bridge for your unique needs.
Don’t let the gap in your smile affect you any longer. Request your appointment by calling (02) 8599 7107 and take the first step towards a seamless, natural-looking smile with TLC Dental – where your dental health and comfort are our top priorities.