A woman smiling at the dentist after receiving her dental bridge

What is a dental bridge or fixed partial denture?

A bridge is a fixed partial denture used to fill the gap where a tooth or a group of teeth are missing or removed. Fixed bridges are permanently bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional.

Cosmetic Bridges Improve Smiles

A bridge can be considered a cosmetic treatment. When a person is missing teeth, it may lower their self-confidence. Often people will smile without showing teeth to hide any missing ones and large gaps. Cosmetic bridges can give patients therapeutic benefits such as improved speech, chewing, and confidence.

How is a bridge attached?

The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, our doctor will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel, dentin, and other tissue and bone. Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.

Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. As for the parts of the bridge, the false tooth, or a pontic, replaces the lost tooth. Then there are the crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth to provide support for the bridge.

What materials are used for dental bridges?

Dental bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. When your bridge is made, the metal structure is shaped from your dental mold, made during your first appointment.

The metal is then coated with porcelain material to match your natural tooth color. That way, you never have to face embarrassing questions about how you got your tooth replaced. People will never have to know!

How do I take care of my bridge?

A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support. The assistant and your hygienist will review home care for your bridge after placement.

What’s Better? Dental Bridges vs Implants

In most cases, an implant is better for many reasons. See above. However, sometimes it is easier and more predictable to replace a tooth in an esthetic zone with a bridge. This will be determined and evaluated by your surgeon and dentist together.

What Are The Different Types of Dental Bridges?

a model of a dental bridge

Traditional Bridges

Traditional bridges are made of metal with sockets that fit the teeth on either side of the removed tooth. When you go in for a dental bridge, your dentist will strip the enamel of the two surrounding teeth in order to shape them for the bridge.

These bridges are fixed, and so cannot be removed. Typically, once placed, bridges will last up to fifteen years. However, if your bridge ever falls out, keep it and it can be re-bonded by your dentist.

Ideally, a candidate for a dental bridge should be in good health and have a strong bone structure in their jaw. We hope that our bridge patients have healthy gums with no active infections or tooth decay in the surrounding teeth.

Usually, traditional dental bridges cost anywhere between $2000 to $5000.

Cantilever Bridges

A less common type of bridge, a cantilever bridge is only applied when there are teeth adjacent to only one side of the missing tooth. However, another reason we don’t place these kinds of bridges often is that they place more stress on the remaining teeth when compared to traditional dental bridges. Candidates for cantilever bridges must have strong and healthy teeth next to the lost tooth. The gums should also be healthy and strong without any active infections or instances of gum disease.

Cantilever bridges typically cost around $2000 to $5000 depending on the needs of the patient.

Maryland Bridges

Unlike traditional bridges, Maryland bridges are made of porcelain and fused to the back of the neighboring teeth. If your teeth are in good condition and you only need one tooth extracted, we can preserve your surrounding teeth with a Maryland bridge. With proper care, a Maryland bridge can last up to 20 years. Ask your dentist if a Maryland bridge is the right option for you.

For one set of a Maryland bridge, the out-of-pocket cost is around $1500 to $2000. However, with insurance, your costs should be greatly reduced. Our office professionals will do our best to work with your insurance so you can receive the best quality care.

Dental Bridges in Middle Tennessee

If the time has come for you to get a dental bridge, look no further than Snodgrass and King in Middle Tennessee. We have offices in Mt. Juliet, Cool Springs, Murfreesboro, and Spring Hill.

Our dental experts are welcoming and will make the experience as comfortable and painless as possible. Call today to schedule a consultation!