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Dental Bridge

Diagram of a dental bridge from dentist office in Vancouver, WA.
If you’ve ever lost a tooth, then you know it can be difficult to speak, bite, chew, or eat effectively. When a tooth is lost, it is important to visit us at Oasis Dental to discuss your options for a replacement. One of the oldest oral health inventions, the earliest versions supposedly dating back over 2,500 years, dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth and provide a bridge that connects your adjacent teeth.

We refer to teeth on either side of a missing tooth as the abutment teeth, while the replacement tooth is called a pontic (false tooth). If you or a loved one are suffering from one or more missing teeth and are considering getting a dental bridge, please call us to answer any questions you may have or set up an appointment today at (360) 836-1100.

Why Should I Get a Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges are a great help in both restoring your beautiful smile and maintaining your face’s appropriate shape for it. In addition to helping you communicate and chew, they enable you to connect your jaws properly while biting, which can help prevent other teeth in the mouth from moving apart or generally out of position.

Types of Dental Bridges

There are four main classes of dental bridges, each with their pros and cons:

•  Traditional- The most common and popular type, this bridge is made from ceramics or porcelain fused to metal. It consists of one or more pontics and is held in position by dental crowns (also known as abutments). These crowns are cemented onto the teeth adjoining to your missing tooth. Traditional bridges are an option when you have natural teeth on either side of the gap created by a missing tooth. The catch is, to make room for crowns to be bonded on top, Dr. Aldridge will have to prepare your adjacent teeth by removing their enamel. Since enamel doesn’t grow back once gone, these teeth will always require protection with crowns even if you should choose a different form of bridge later.
•  Cantilever- Similar to traditional bridges, except the pontic is supported by an abutment on only one side instead of both sides. This way, even if only one natural tooth is next to the gap, a bridge can still be secured. Like traditional bridges, by removing the enamel, Dr. Aldridge will prepare the adjoining tooth to support your bridge. Because these restorations are only supported on one side, however, they can in some cases act as a lever. This can potentially result in complications such as broken teeth or loosened crowns.
•  Maryland- Constructed from a metal framework in which the pontic (false tooth) is attached to metal or porcelain wings that are cemented onto the backs of your two abutment teeth. Since this type of bridge isn’t held in position by crowns, filing the adjacent teeth isn’t necessary. This is considered a more conservative option, if you don’t want a traditional bridge. Unfortunately, the bridge’s strength is limited by that of the resin that holds it in place. Therefore, it may not stay in position in areas of your mouth where the teeth experience a lot of bite pressure (Ex- The molars). The framework may also get in the way of your gums or bite, such as while eating.
•  Implant supported- When you’re missing multiple teeth, this can be used. Instead of a metal framework or crowns though, this bridge is supported by dental implants. Typically, one implant is placed for every missing tooth and they work together to hold the bridge in place. However, it may consist of a pontic suspended between two implant-supported crowns if placing a single Implant for each lost tooth isn’t possible. These bridges feel secure and comfortable, just like your natural teeth. One downside is that multiple surgeries are needed to place the implants and then the bridge, so the procedure will take much longer to complete.

How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?

A dental bridge can last anywhere between 5 to potentially 15 years, though the majority commonly last at least a decade with good oral hygiene.

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Vancouver Location
16500 SE 15th St, Suite 180
Vancouver, WA 98683 MAP

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Vancouver Office Hours:
Monday: 8am–5:30pm
Tuesday: 7am–8pm
Wednesday: 7am–8pm
Thursday: 7am–8pm
Friday: 7am–1pm
Every other Saturday: 8am–1pm - For June and July we will be open 6/13, 6/27, 7/11, and 7/25
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Ridgefield Location
11 South 47th Ave. Suite 101
Ridgefield, WA 98642 MAP

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Ridgefield Office Hours:
Mon: 7am–3pm
Tues: 7am–8pm
Wed: 7am–3pm
Thurs: Closed
Fri: 7am–1pm
Every other Saturday: 7am–1pm -For June and July we will be open 6/19, 7/3, 7/17, 7/31
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