A dental Cantilever bridge is a type of dental bridge that uses one or more artificial teeth, called pontics, to replace missing teeth. The pontics are attached to the abutments, which are the dental crowns that are placed on the ends of the healthy teeth adjacent to the empty space. Cantilever bridges offer several advantages over other types of dental bridges, but they also have some disadvantages that you should be aware of before deciding if this type of bridge is right for you. This post discusses what a cantilever bridge is, the pros and cons of using them, and who might be a good candidate for this type of bridge.
The Pros of Cantilever Bridges
- One advantage of cantilever bridges is that they do not require support from the teeth on both sides of the empty space like traditional bridges do. This can be helpful if there are not enough healthy teeth to support a traditional bridge.
- Cantilever bridges are also relatively easy to place, and they can be less expensive than other types of dental bridges.
- They are less invasive. Traditional bridges require the removal of some healthy tooth structure in order to place the bridge, while cantilever bridges only require this on one side.
- They have a longer lifespan. Studies have shown that cantilever bridges last an average of seven to eight years, while traditional bridges only last an average of five to six years.
- They look natural. Pontics are made to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth.
The Cons of Cantilever Bridges
There are some disadvantages to using cantilever bridges as well.
- One of the biggest disadvantages is that they are not as strong as traditional bridges, and they are more likely to fail or come loose over time. This means that they may need to be replaced more often than other types of dental bridges.
- Cantilever bridges are also more likely to cause damage to the adjacent teeth. The forces exerted by the pontics on the abutting teeth can cause these teeth to become loose or to break.
- They are not for everyone. Cantilever bridges are not recommended for people who have periodontal disease or for people who grind their teeth at night.
- They can be more expensive. In some cases, cantilever bridges can cost up to 50% more than traditional bridges.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Cantilever Bridge?
Not everyone is a good candidate for a cantilever bridge. You may not be a good candidate if you have:
– Decay or gum disease in the adjacent teeth
– Lack of sufficient bone to support the bridge
– A history of bruxism (teeth grinding)
If you are missing one or more teeth and are considering a dental bridge, be sure to discuss all of your options with your dentist or oral surgeon. They can help you decide if a cantilever bridge is right for you.