What Are Bridges In Dentistry?
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.