What Are Dental Bridges?
A dental bridge is literally a road bridge. Of course, it is not over a river, but over a gap in your teeth and right inside your mouth. While replacing your missing teeth with a dental bridge, we will use natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth gap as anchors for the dental bridge.
These natural supporting teeth are called the abutments, to which the bridge of one or more false teeth is attached. The false tooth/ teeth are called pontic. Alternatively, a dental implant may be used as a support to which the artificial teeth are attached. The pontic can be made from various materials like metal alloys, gold, porcelain or a combination of such materials. Each material has its own pros and cons, and hence, may be suitable for replacing missing teeth in different parts of the jaw.
What Types of Dental Bridges Are There?
Currently there are four main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional bridges- The description of a bridge given above applies to the traditional type of dental bridge. That means creating a crown for a healthy natural tooth on either side of the missing teeth, with the required number of pontic in between. These are the most commonly used types of dental bridges.
- Cantilever bridges are used when a healthy support tooth is available on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. These bridges are only used for the replacement of front teeth, which do not receive very heavy chewing forces.
- Maryland bonded bridges– These are also called resin-bonded bridges or Maryland bridges. These could be made of porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. Teeth, and gums supported on a metallic or porcelain framework may also be used. Metal or porcelain wings which exist often on just one side of the bridge are bonded to the existing teeth.
- Implant Supported bridges– In case healthy teeth are not available to act as abutments, a single implant can carry one or more pontic on a metallic framework.
What Are the Steps for Getting a Dental Bridge?
Getting your missing teeth replaced at Edge Dental will normally take two visits to the dentist. Most of the clinical steps are performed in the first visit. The following steps are involved.
- Tooth Preparation-During your first visit for a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared to receive the crowns. This involves removing a portion of enamel to allow space for a crown to be placed over them.
- Impressions-After your teeth have been prepared, wax impressions of your teeth are prepared. These impressions are sent to the dental lab along with instructions about material and color of the gum, pontics and the framework.
- Temporary Bridge– Teeth trimmed of enamel may feel sensitive to hot and cold. Our dentists will make you a temporary bridge to wear over the exposed teeth and gums until the bridge is being made.
- Bridge Construction – The impressions are used by the dental lab to make the bridge, pontic, and crowns which fit comfortably over the prepared teeth.
- Placement of the Bridge– In the second visit your temporary bridge is removed. We will check the newly received bridge and check it for fit, accuracy and aesthetics. Multiple visits may be needed in some cases to obtain to obtain a proper fit of the framework and bite. Finally, we will permanently cement the bridge over the abutment teeth by using an adhesive cement.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges can give one or more of the following benefits:
- They restore your smile affected by loss of teeth
- Dental bridges also restore your ability to chew properly.
- Missing teeth can prevent you from pronouncing certain sounds correctly. A dental bridge will fill the gap and restore your ability to pronounce correctly.
- Your facial contours could deteriorate due to absence of teeth. Bridges fill the gap and help you retain your facial contours.
- Dental bridges also restore dental function by evenly distributing the chewing forces in your bite properly
- The gap created by missing teeth can allow adjacent teeth to move inwards. Bridges will prevent this by filling the gap.
- Bridges may also be used for cosmetic purposes, eg. to cover stained teeth, or teeth with visible defects.
How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?
The price of a dental bridge varies with the type of bridge desired and the part of the country in which the procedure is accomplished. Part of the expense may be paid by your dental insurance depending on your plan.
How Long Will a Bridge Last?
Dental bridges will normally last five to fifteen years and even beyond. To prolong the life of your dental bridge you should practice regular oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly.
Is it difficult to Eat with a Dental Bridge?
Replacement of missing teeth with a bridge will make it easier to eat than without the bridge. However, you may take some time getting used to it. Until then, eat soft foods cut into small pieces.
Will My Speech be Affected?
Missing front teeth will certainly make it difficult for you to pronounce some sounds properly. However, with a bridge installed, your ability to speak correctly will be restored.
How Do I Care for a Bridge?
The bridge will take its support from the adjacent healthy teeth. It is important to maintain good oral health so that these (other remaining teeth) remain healthy and strong. Practice good oral hygiene, i.e., brush and floss your teeth regularly twice a day and use a good antiseptic mouthwash daily. This will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can cause tooth loss. A balanced diet is also important to ensure good nutrition. In addition, you must visit your dentist regularly for inspection and cleaning.
When it comes replacing your missing teeth, then dental bridges are an excellent option. If you wish to have a beautiful and charming smile with bridges, then you should visit us at Edge Dental. We look forward to seeing you!