Dental Bridges are fabricated out of 2 or more dental crowns covering teeth on either side of the missing tooth (there will be a gap present). Dental bridges literally just bridge the gap created my at least one missing tooth but can be multiple missing teeth the dental bridge is replacing.
Benefits Of Dental Bridges
Dental Bridges can do the following for you:
-Restore your smile to its fullest potential by replacing lost teeth
-Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
-Maintain and restore the shape of your face
-Allow for even distribution of the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
-Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position. If this happens more damage can occur as your bite changes
Types of Dental Bridges Available
-Traditional dental bridges involve fabricating a dental crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a dental pontic in between. Traditional dental bridges are easily the most common type of dental bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal(PFM) or ceramics.
-Cantilever dental bridges are prescribed when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not a very common with the addition of dental implants to a dentists arsenal and is not recommended in the back of the mouth where the forces can cause damage to the dental bridge as well as surrounding teeth.
-Maryland bonded dental bridges (also referred to as a dental resin bonded bridges) can be made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal(PFM), or plastic resin teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings often on just one side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
-Dental Implant Supported Bridge – implant supported dental bridges can be used when you have more than one tooth missing. Instead of being supported by dental crowns or metal frameworks, this type of dental bridge is supported by dental implants. Generally, 1 (one) dental implant is placed for every missing tooth, and this series of dental implants holds the bridge in place. However, the bridge may consist of a pontic suspended between two implant-supported crowns if placing one implant for every lost tooth is not possible.
Office Visits For A Dental Bridge
During the initial visit to your dentist for getting a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared to accept a dental crown. The preparation involves re-contouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, dental impressions of the teeth are made, which give the lab technician a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made. Your dentist will fabricate a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.
During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed, the temporary cement will be cleaned off the teeth, and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve an ideal fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This is dependent on each individual’s case as metal can distort as well as teeth moving ever so slightly. If the fit is acceptable to the dentist, the dental bridge will then be cemented in place.
Dental Bridges Cost
The overall cost of a dental bridge varies depending on the type of bridge selected and the materials used by your dentist. Dental insurance, if you have it, will typically pay a percentage of the fee for your dental bridge depending on the individual dental plan.
How Long Will My Dental Bridge Last?
Dental bridges can last five to 15 years and sometimes even longer. With a good oral hygiene regimen as well as regular dental checkups, it is not unusual for dental bridges to be still going strong after 10 years. It will depend on each individual in the end.
Eating With Dental Bridges
Eating should be easier once the dental bridge is in place. This is because you will no longer have a gap for food to get trapped into.
Caring For Dental Bridges
Following a good oral hygiene regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing along with regular dental examinations with dental cleanings is all you will need to do. The better dental hygiene you maintain the better chance of that dental bridge lasting a long time. Flossing will be more of a challenge as you need to thread the floss under the bridge to keep it clean. Your dentist will recommend floss threaders to use. This will allow you to get under the bridge and properly keep it clean and healthy.
Dental Bridges Conclusion
Your dentist can close the gaps in your smile with one of the 4 types dental bridges to restore your smile. With so many types of dental bridges available, you can feel confident that your dentist has an appropriate solution for your missing teeth.
Most people do not realize that our dental health and our general health are inherently linked. Below is a discussion of the various links to be aware of to maintain your health.
Oral Health = Overall Health?
Prescription medications can also play a role — such as decongestants (example Sudafed), antihistamines (example Benadryl), painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can cause a condition known as dry mouth. Saliva is necessary to wash away food and neutralizes the acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth. Saliva plays an important role in helping to protect you from bacteria that can quickly multiply and lead to disease in the mouth and body.
Recent scientific studies have been released suggesting that bacteria found in the mouth and the inflammation associated with the severest form of periodontal disease (periodontitis) might play a factor in some systemic diseases. General disease also has an affect on the oral cavity as well. Diseases such as diabetes and HIV(AIDS), can lower the body’s immune reaction to infection, making oral health problems even more severe.
Conditions can be linked to oral health?
Other conditions that are believed to be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers and an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth (Sjogren’s syndrome).
It is important that you tell your dentist about the various medications you take and about any changes in your overall health, especially if you’ve recently been ill or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes.
How can I protect my oral health?
Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Stress can arise from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious.
Too much stress is known to play a role in our overall health but did you know that stress can also cause issues to your smile?
Stress Induced Dental Health Issues
Poor Dental Hygiene
When a person is under a lot of stress they tend to lose focus on basic habits and this can include maintaining optimal dental hygiene. If you do not take care of your dental hygiene on a daily basis, your dental health along with your overall health will begin to suffer and consequences can develop. This is especially important if you already have an issue with periodontal disease. Neglecting any part of your dental hygiene regimen can cause your periodontal disease to worsen. Another issue that can occur from stress is changes to your nutrition. Most people under heavy stress tend to develop very unhealthy eating habits. This can include frequent snacking on greater quantities than normal of sugary foods and drinks. These dietary changes will increase the risk of tooth decay.
An excellent way to defend against stress in your life is to regularly exercise. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help you relieve some of that built up stress and give you an extra energy boost to fight back. Exercise will also boost your immune system which will keep you stronger and healthier over the long haul.
Teeth Grinding (also referred to as Bruxism)
A main factor for people who grind their teeth is due to stress. Bruxism or teeth grinding can occur any time of day or night but it is usually an act we are unaware we are doing. Stress is not the sole cause of bruxism but it can make it worse. Dental issues associated with bruxism can include:
-Pain In Ears
-Wearing down of teeth.
-Temporo mandibular Joint (TMJ) Issues
-Chipped or cracked teeth
-Receding gums or teeth with notches along the gum line
Your dentist following a thorough examination may recommend a night guard to wear while you sleep to minimize the damage to your teeth. Generally, if stress is the root cause the bruxism will stop when the stressor(s) are removed.
Sores In The Oral Cavity
Mouth sores come in multiple forms. These forms can include:
-Canker sores. These are tiny ulcers with a white or grayish base and a red border. There has been extensive debate among scientists regarding what is the root cause of canker sores. Some believe it is an immune system deficiency, bacteria, or even an underlying virus. The consensus belief is that stress can increase the risk of them appearing. Canker sores are not believed to be contagious.
Canker sores generally last about a week to ten days. Spicy foods along with highly acidic foods should be avoided as they may irritate the sores. Your dentist can recommend a prescribed medicine called Debacterol. This prescription medicine is applied directly to the mouth sore and can reduce symptoms as well as thetime that the sores are present in the mouth.
-Cold sores (also called fever blisters). This type of sore is caused by the herpes simplex virus and are highly contagious. These sores are blisters that are filled with fluid that often appear on or around the lips. They are also seen under the nose or around the chin area. Emotional stress can trigger these sores to develop. Other triggers for these sores include fever, a sunburn, or skin abrasion.
Cold sores generally heal on their own in about 7 days time. Many treatments are available for relief, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs. Talk to your doctor or dentist if these medications could help you. It is imperative to start treatment as soon as you feel or visually notice the cold sore forming. The sooner you begin treatment the effects of the cold sore can be decreased.
Periodontal Disease (also Known as Gum Disease)
Stress can often lead to depression. Scientific studies have shown that patients who are dealing with depression have 2 times the risk of poor treatment outcomes from periodontal disease treatment compared to those who are not depressed. Most doctors agree that learning healthy strategies to cope with bouts of depression can help reduce the risk of periodontal issues getting worse. Also, people who are in a depressed state tend to have poor overall hygiene including dental hygiene.
Remember, we all have events that trigger stress during our daily lives. Development of techniques to deal with stress can make a marked difference in the maintanence of our dental health as well as our overall general health. As always, see your dentist for regular dental examinations along with professional cleanings to ensure you can keep your smile looking and feeling as healthy as can be!
-Eat a balanced diet
-Regular Dental Visits
and good oral hygiene help reduce your risks of periodontal disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss daily.