An adult in the United States is likely to have three or more missing or decayed teeth. While this is a common dental problem, it is essential to find the right replacements. One of the best tooth replacement options today is the dental bridge. This article provides an overview of what you need to know about a dental bridge. Types of dental bridges: Traditional bridges. These bridges are used when your natural teeth surround the missing teeth on both sides. The bridges are made of pontic teeth (fake teeth) which are held by the abutment teeth. These bridges are made of porcelain or ceramic and can be used to replace even molars. While these teeth may be good for you, the dentist will have to eliminate a part of the enamel to make space for the crown. Cantilever bridges. These bridges, unlike traditional bridges, are only attached to abutment teeth on one side. This occurs when there are natural teeth on only one side of the gap. This type of tooth replacement option also has its unique challenges. Since the tooth is attached only from one side, there are chances of developing complications such as a loosened crown or fracturing teeth. Maryland bridges. These are resin-bonded bridges that can be used to replace teeth at the mouth’s front. The pontic teeth are bound to the adjacent natural teeth from the back using porcelain or metal. With this type of bridge, the enamel of the adjacent natural teeth does not need to be removed because there is no need for a crown that will hold abutment teeth. Implant-supported bridges. These are bridges that are supported by dental implants instead of surrounding natural teeth. Dentists recommend this type of dental implant for people with more than a missing tooth or if there is a chance that you will put more pressure on connected implants. A dental implant is placed in every space where there is a missing tooth. Pros and Cons of a Bridge vs Implant Dental Bridges Pros vs Cons Dental bridges are cost-effective and do not necessitate dental grafting. Also, they are a quick solution when there are missing teeth. However, they may cause strain on the abutment teeth. Maryland bridges also cannot sufficiently support bite force. Dental Implants Pros vs Cons Implants are advantageous because they do not place any strain on the surrounding teeth. This reduces the long-term impact on the jaw and helps promote the healing of the gums. However, this option can be costly, especially if there are more teeth to be replaced. In some cases, dentists may recommend bridges. Also, they may take months to complete because surgery is required. Process of Getting a Bridge On the first appointment, the dentist will prepare the abutment teeth. This preparation involves removing a part of the enamel and recontouring it so that a crown can fit when placed over them. The dentist then makes impressions of the teeth, and a dental lab will make the bridge, crowns, and pontics from these. Meanwhile, you wear a temporary bridge to protect the teeth. On a follow-up visit, the temporary bridge is retracted, and your porcelain or metal bridge is put in place. The dentist checks and adjusts it so it can fit in your mouth correctly. How to Properly Maintain a Bridge Good oral hygiene is key to caring for your dental bridges. You should take care of your bridges well and follow your dentist’s instruction. Avoid foods that are likely to cause complications such as caramel and nuts. Lastly, ensure that you visit your dentist regularly. In this way, they can tell you how to best care for your bridges.