Common Questions About Dental Bridges

Dental patients with missing teeth or scattered teeth throughout the mouth can seek dental bridge installation to restore their bite and ensure proper oral function. If you are missing teeth, these frequently asked questions and answers may help you decide whether or not a dental bridge is right for you.

Q: What is a dental bridge?

A: A dental bridge is a cosmetic dentistry procedure designed to replace a missing tooth in the mouth of a dental patient.

Q: How does a dental bridge work?

A: There are three types of dental bridges, and each type works slightly differently.

Pontic. Pontic bridges are installed when a missing tooth is positioned between two non-missing teeth. A crown is created for each tooth on either side of the gap and a pontic is attached to the crowns to fill the space in the middle.

Maryland. Maryland bridges consist of plastic teeth and gums that attach to the teeth on either side of the bridge via metal framework.

Cantilever. Cantilever bridges grip onto teeth on only one side of the bridge.

Q: What are the advantages of a dental bridge?

A: Dental bridges have a number of benefits for dental patients who are missing teeth. Bridges are generally considered to be cosmetic dentistry because they serve to restore a patient's smile when teeth are missing; however, many benefits of dental bridges go beyond cosmetic. For example, dental bridges can restore normal chewing and speech, help keep the remaining teeth in place, and ensure even pressure throughout the bite.

Q: Does a dental bridge need special oral hygiene?

A: No. However, the stability of the dental bridge over time depends on the health and stability of the surrounding teeth. Once a dental bridge is installed, maintaining proper oral hygiene is more important than ever. To keep your remaining teeth and gums healthy, brush and floss twice daily, or as often as your dentist recommends.

Q: Does dental insurance cover bridge installation?

A: Although exact coverage varies from one dental plan to another, many dental insurance plans will cover a percentage of the installation procedure.

Q: Does a dental bridge negatively impact your ability to chew?

A: A properly functioning dental bridge will usually make it easier to chew. However, many people must adjust to the presence of the bridge and may need to eat softer foods that have been cut into small pieces. 

Talk with a place like Larsen-Haslem Dental for more information about getting a dental bridge.