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Have you heard about dental bridges, but do not understand what they are? A bridge is used to replace missing teeth, prevent your nearby teeth from shifting position, and restore your smile.


Four different types of bridges exist. They are named traditional, cantilever, maryland, and implant supported. They all produce close to the same results, even if they work a little differently.


Two terms you need to know are abutments and pontics. We will explain what they are and what they do individually. Abutments are the teeth next to the spots that are missing teeth that are adjusted to bear the bridge.


Traditional and cantilever bridges use abutments in a similar fashion. Both require filing down abutments and covering them with crowns, coverings that should look and act like real teeth. The difference is traditionals use two abutments and cantilevers use one because only one can be used.


However, with maryland bridges, the abutments are not altered, at least not by much. Instead, small frames of metal or porcelain are attached to them to hold the bridge over the tooth.


The abutments’ job is to hold the pontics. Pontics are artificial teeth, and they are what actually replaces the lost teeth.


The crowns for traditional and cantilever bridges are attached to the pontics, much like actual bridge. They hold the pontic over the gap. The frameworks for marylands latch a singular pontic to the abutments.


Implant-supported bridges use no abutments. The dentist places implants over the empty spaces, and they give the pontics support.


If you are considering bridges and would like to learn more, come to Kenneth Hancock DDS in Olympia, Washington. The dentist, Dr. Kenneth Hancock will discuss the options and see what works for you. You can reach us at 360-464-2099.