If you are missing one of your molar teeth and would like to fill in this space, your dentist might recommend getting a dental bridge. Traditional bridges are ideal when the missing tooth has a tooth on each side, but this option will not work if you are missing one of your last molar teeth. Because this missing tooth would only have one tooth next to it, your dentist might suggest using a cantilever bridge. This option is just as good as a traditional bridge; however, it is slightly different.
What is a bridge?
A dental bridge is a device used in dentistry to fill in missing teeth. It is made of a dental crown, which is an artificial tooth that replaces the missing one. This crown is attached to one or two more crowns, which are called abutment crowns. The abutment crowns are placed over the teeth next to the missing tooth, and they hold the main crown in place.
Bridges come in different types, but a traditional bridge is the most common. It holds a replacement tooth in place with two crowns that are placed over the adjacent teeth. If you are missing a tooth and there is only one tooth next to it, a traditional bridge will not work.
What is a cantilever bridge?
A cantilever bridge is still made of the same components, but it is designed in a different way. Because the missing tooth has only one tooth next to it, a cantilever bridge will be held in place on only one side.
When a dentist makes a cantilever bridge, he or she may add only one additional crown to hold the bridge in place, or the dentist may add two. Adding two abutment teeth will make the bridge stronger, which may help it last longer.
Do cantilever bridges hold up as well as traditional bridges?
Cantilever bridges can last for up to 10 years, which is the average amount of time a traditional bridge will last. Cantilever bridges should only be used to replace teeth that will not have a lot of stress. If you need to replace the main tooth you chew with, a cantilever bridge may not be the best option. This is because it is only held in place from one side, which means it may not be strong enough to handle all the stress from chewing.
For more information, contact Rose City Dental Care or a similar location.