It can happen to anyone. Losing a tooth is a traumatic experience for everyone but fortunately, modern-day dentistry can make it look like you never had a missing tooth. There are a lot of options – from veneers to dental bridges. In this article we’re going to look into dental bridges – the main types of bridges you can get, when it’s most suitable to use them, and costs you can expect in Singapore.
The dental bridge is a false tooth connected to the adjacent teeth – much like a bridge – and filling the gap. They come in several types and materials, so read ahead if you’re currently considering getting a dental bridge.
What are the main types of dental bridges?
There are four main types of dental bridges. Here is detailed information on all of them.
Traditional Dental Bridge
This is the most popular way to do a dental bridge. It’s used when your natural teeth on either side of the missing gap. Then the dentist will put a fake tooth (also called a pontic tooth) which will be held in place by your natural adjacent teeth. Usually, the dentist will put a dental crown over your natural teeth in order to support the fake one. These teeth are called abutment teeth. In order to put crowns over the natural teeth, your dentist will have to shave some of the enamel.
In Singapore, most of the time traditional bridges are made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal. This makes them strong enough to replace even molars.
Cantilever Dental Bridge
Much like the traditional dental bridge, the cantilever bridge is attached to an abutment tooth but only on one side. The cantilever dental bridge is used when natural teeth are on one side of the missing tooth. During the procedure, your dentist will shave off some of the enamel from the supporting tooth so they can place the bridge.
Maryland Dental Bridge
This method is also called a resin-bonded bridge. This is a type of method, most often used in the front of the mouth. In this case, the bridge is connected to a pontic tooth at the back of natural teeth by using metal or porcelain bands. The benefit of this method is that natural teeth don’t have to be shaved down. One downside to this method is that it may less durable compared to the traditional one.
Implant-supported Dental Bridge
As the name suggests, in this method the dental bridge will be supported with an implant, instead of natural teeth. The implant-supported method is used when patients have more missing teeth or in cases where they could put too much pressure on implants.
This is considered the most durable method. It requires a series of surgeries – one to put the implants in and one to place the bridge.
Dental Bridge Cost in Singapore
The cost of dental bridges in Singapore may vary depending on a lot of factors. All those factors have been mentioned on Dentaleh and these factors include:
- The type of method used to replace the missing teeth. A traditional bridge may cost up to $1500 per unit, while an implant-supported bridge may cost up to $16,000 in Singapore. Maryland Bridge, on the other hand, may cost up to $1000 per unit.
- The number of units. Usually, dental clinics in Singapore place their prices per unit, which means that a traditional three-unit bridge may cost triple than what you see listed on the website.
- The type of material used. Porcelain dental bridge may more expensive material than metal but it will be more aesthetically pleasing and natural.
- The severity of the case. In some cases, the dental bridge requires a lot of complex work depending on the severity of the issue. This can affect the final cost in Singapore as well.
- Whether you need additional treatments.
- Whether your health insurance covers your dental work.
What is the difference between dental bridges and dental implants?
A bridge is a replacement of a missing tooth, that’s connected to two other natural teeth. In most cases, it needs to be replaced every 5-15 years. Dental implants, on the other hand, are more permanent replacement teeth. The implant relies on a metal post that basically replaces the root of the missing teeth. On top of that, the dentist will place a crown. Dental implants feel and look like natural teeth.
Are dental bridges removable?
There are two basic options for dental bridges – a fixed and a removable one (called a denture). The fixed dental bridge, as you can probably guess, stays permanently placed on the missing tooth. It’s connected to the teeth on either side of the missing teeth gap. There are many benefits to the fixed dental bridge such as:
- They look natural because the porcelain is made to match your natural teeth perfectly
- They can maintain facial structure – a missing tooth may cause the other teeth to change their position and ultimately lead to bone loss or changes in the facial structure
- They are functional – a dental bridge can improve your quality of life by allowing you to eat and chew freely
- You can brush them easily – you won’t damage your dental bridge while brushing your natural teeth
- They are long-lasting – they can last as much as a decade with proper care
You also have an option to get a removable dental bridge (also called a denture). Dentures are essentially artificial teeth connected to a plastic base that you can place in your mouth. They are used as a removable replacement tooth. You can also remove the denture when need be. Dentures also have a number of benefits including:
- Easier procedure – removable dental bridges usually are less invasive than the fixed method.
- You can clean them easily
- Dentures look natural as the porcelain will match your natural teeth
Removable bridges may be less comfortable than fixed ones, however, because food can go underneath and cause pain.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dental bridges?
Much like all procedures, dental bridges come with certain pros and cons. Here are some of them:
- They can restore your smile and feel natural
- They can improve your speech and in some cases restore normal speech
- They prevent bone loss and thus help maintain normal facial structure
- You can eat normally
- The supporting teeth may get damaged and decay
- Some tooth structure will need to be removed
- The tooth underneath the crown may get damaged due to bacteria or plaque
- The bridge may collapse if the supporting teeth are not strong enough to support
- In some cases, the abutment teeth may need to be replaced by dental implants due to damage
What is the difference between a denture and a dental bridge?
We partially answered this question in the section about fixed dental bridges and removable ones. The simplest answer to this question is that the bridge is a fixed solution, while the denture is a removable one.
How long does a dental bridge last?
Dental bridges can last a very long time depending on the level of oral hygiene and care. Usually, a bridge can last more than 10 years with proper oral care.
How to take proper care of dental bridges?
There are several things you should know about oral health to make sure your dental bridges last as long as possible.
- They have to fit perfectly. This will ensure that no food gets caught between the bridge and other teeth, and therefore less risk of bacteria growth and tooth decay.
- Avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, when you have dental bridges you’d want to avoid hard foods such as ice, nuts, some raw vegetables, or hard to chew candy because it can damage the bridge.
- Proper oral hygiene. This is probably the most important rule to follow when having dental bridges. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss every night, and use an antiseptic mouthwash. Don’t miss your dentist’s appointments too! Go for a dental cleaning at least once a year and for check-ups every twice a year.