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Dental Bridge

If a missing tooth is affecting your confidence, a dental bridge can fill that space with a permanent replacement that looks and functions just like your natural teeth.

What Is a Dental Bridge? 

A dental bridge is a permanent appliance that literally “bridges the gap” created by a missing tooth or a row of teeth. It comprises an artificial replacement tooth, or pontic, which is secured to the adjacent or abutment teeth.  

Dental bridges are an alternative to partial dentures and dental implants that enhance the appearance of teeth and improve how you speak and eat.   

Why It’s Important to Replace Missing Teeth 

A missing tooth is more than just a cosmetic issue. A gap can change the shape of your face and your smile, and have long-term effects on your oral and overall health. When you lose a tooth, the remaining teeth slowly shift to close the opening. This causes improper alignment, and misaligned teeth are more prone to decay, damage, and pain.  

Types of Dental Bridges 

Thrive Dental & Orthodontics offers different types of dental bridges to meet our patients’ individual needs.  

Traditional Bridge  

The most common type of bridge we install at Thrive Dental is a traditional bridge. It consists of a false tooth (or teeth) between two crowns (or caps) placed over the adjacent existing teeth. Traditional bridges are typically made of ceramic or porcelain fused with metal. This is a good solution for patients with healthy teeth on both sides of the gap.  

Cantilever Dental Bridge  

This bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, but it only has a crown on one end instead of both. When we attach the bridge onto the adjacent abutment tooth, the artificial replacement sits atop the gap.  

Cantilever bridges are recommended for patients with only natural teeth on one side of the open space. Because these bridges are not as strong as traditional bridges, the adjacent tooth must be healthy. Also, the tooth being replaced must be located where it does not bear a significant load when chewing and biting.  

Maryland Bridge 

A Maryland bridge helps preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. The replacement tooth is permanently secured with tiny “wings” which are bonded to the filled spots on the adjacent teeth. Like the cantilever bridge, the Maryland bridge only works in certain areas of the mouth under certain circumstances.  

Implant-Supported Bridge  

This method requires surgery to install implants into the jawbone instead of using the adjacent teeth for support. After the implants are installed, there is a waiting period to allow the area to heal and the implant to integrate with the bone. (You can wear a temporary dental bridge during this time.) The final step is to attach the bridge to the dental implants. Implant-supported bridges are often used for patients with three or more missing teeth in a row.  

Benefits of Dental Bridges  

While dental bridges may not be recommended for every patient, there are many benefits for patients who are good candidates. 

  • Balance the load of chewing.  
  • Maintain the shape of your face.  
  • Improve the appearance of your smile.  
  • Restore the ability to chew and speak normally.  
  • Prevent teeth from shifting into the open space where the tooth is missing. 
  • Are a permanent solution, saving you time and money over the long term.  


At Thrive Dental & Orthodontics, we find the most conservative yet effective solution for tooth replacement. The best way to discuss your needs and goals is during a dental restoration consultation.   

How Often Do Dental Bridges Need to Be Replaced?  

Dental bridges last an average of 5-10 years. Yet, with routine dental cleanings and check-ups and good oral hygiene, they can potentially last much longer. Schedule an appointment if your bridge is loose or you have pain, discomfort, bite problems, or staining.   

Is a Dental Bridge the Right Solution for Me? 

If you have missing teeth, permanent dental bridges are just one way to replace them. Your family dentist at Thrive Dental & Orthodontics performs a dental exam and reviews X-rays to determine the most appropriate dental restoration method to restore your smile.  

We assess overall health and any medical conditions that may affect treatment. Your oral health matters, too. Healthy adjacent teeth and strong bone structure are necessary to support the dental bridge and/or implants.  

When it comes to dental restoration, your commitment to caring for your bridge can often be the best indicator of success. Proper oral hygiene is always important, but brushing twice daily, flossing, and dietary adjustments for a healthy mouth will protect your bridge and surrounding natural teeth for years to come.  

Don’t let dental anxiety stop you from achieving the bright and beautiful smile you deserve. At Thrive Dental & Orthodontics, you can expect a calm and inviting space that takes the fear out of dental care. Relax with a warm blanket and pillow as you watch your favorite program while we work magic. Sedation dentistry is also available to help ensure a pain-free, comfortable experience.   

Are you ready to explore your dental restoration options? Book an appointment online today. Thrive Dental offices are located in Frisco, Allen, Sachse, Richardson, and Dallas, Texas.  

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