Just like its name, dental bridges are dental works that bridge the gap between teeth caused by one or multiple missing teeth.
Dental bridges can only be supported by natural teeth or dental implants. Dental bridges consist of two or more anchoring dental crowns for the neighbouring teeth of the gap. These anchoring teeth are called “abutment teeth” and the false tooth or teeth, called pontics, are in-between the abutment teeth. The pontics can be made from porcelain, alloys, gold, or a combination of these materials.
Are you suffering from missing tooth/teeth and looking an affordable way of restoring the appearance of your teeth and your smile, consider dental bridges treatment.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges offer a lot of benefits, which include:
- Restoring the appearance of your teeth
- Restoring your smile
- Restoring your ability to speak and chew properly
- Maintaining the shape of your face
- Preventing the remaining teeth from shifting or drifting out of position
- Distributing the chewing and biting forces evenly in your mouth by replacing missing teeth
Dental Bridges Overview
What Are The Available Types Of Dental Bridges?
There are basically three major types of dental bridges. These are:
- Traditional bridges: this is the conventional dental bridges and the most common type of dental bridges. This type of bridge involves creating the pontics with abutment teeth or dental implant on either side i.e. the pontic is in-between the dental crowns or dental implants. Traditional bridges are made of either ceramics or porcelain fused with metal.
- Cantilever bridges: this type of bridge differs from the traditional bridges in that they are used where the adjacent teeth are only on one side of the missing tooth/teeth. In this case, the pontic is only anchored on one side by the abutment teeth. Cantilever bridges are not very common anymore and they are not recommended to be used at the back of the mouth. If a Cantilever bridge is used at the back of the mouth, it will put too much pressure on other teeth and damage them.
- Maryland bridges (Maryland bonded bridge or resin-bonded bridge): this type of dental bridge is similar to the Cantilever bridge. Maryland bridge has porcelain or metal wing on just one side that anchors to the existing teeth. Maryland bridges are made of porcelain fused with metal, all porcelain, or metal/porcelain-supported plastic teeth and gums.
What Are The Procedures Involved In Getting A Dental Bridge?
Foremost, you need to consult your dentist to know if you are eligible for dental bridges treatment and to know which type of dental bridge would be suitable for you. When these are settled, you can proceed with the treatment.
When you visit your dentist for the first time for the dental bridges treatment, your dentist would prepare the abutment teeth. This is important because the shape of the adjacent teeth will affect the preparation of the abutment teeth. Preparing the abutment teeth involves re-contouring the adjacent teeth by carefully removing some portion of the tooth enamel to give room to accommodate the dental crowns that would be placed over them.
Next, the impressions of the adjacent teeth will be taken. These impressions will be used in creating the pontic/pontics, dental crowns, and dental bridge as a whole in the dental lab. While the dental bridge is being made in the lab, your dentist would place a temporary bridge over the gap to protect the gums and exposed teeth.
During the second visit, the permanent dental bridge should be ready. Your dentist would remove the temporary bridge and place the new permanent bridge. Your dentist will also check to see if the permanent bridge fits properly and if necessary, adjustments will be made to achieve a proper fit.
If needed, you may visit your dentist again to check the fit of the dental bridge and bite. This, however, depends on each patient’s case. More so, if the dental bridge is a fixed one, your dentist may not cement it permanently during the second visit but would temporarily cement it in place and wait for a few weeks to ensure that is fit properly. If there is no miss bite, overbite, underbite, or any other bite issue, then the dental bridge is cemented permanently in place.
What Is the Cost of Dental Bridges Treatment?
There is no fixed cost for dental bridges treatment. The cost of dental bridges treatment varies based on the type of dental bridge chosen, the preferred material, and the area where the dental of the country in which the procedure is performed. More so, most dental insurance plans cover dental bridges treatments, so you may need to check with your insurance company to know if it will pay a certain part of the treatment fee.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
Typically, fixed dental bridges should last for at least 5 to 15 years with good and proper oral care practices and regular check-ups.
Is It Difficult to Eat with a Dental Bridge?
One of the benefits of having a dental bridge is actually to make eating easier. But being a new body in your mouth, it may initially feel awkward and eating may be a bit difficult. But as you become used to the dental bridge, eating with the bridge shouldn’t be difficult anymore. However, it is advisable to start with soft foods and foods cut into small bits during the first few days after the treatment.
Will Dental Bridges Change the Way I Speak?
When you have a missing tooth or teeth, it may be difficult to speak clearly. However, having a dental bridge proper fixed will help you to speak properly. Hence, dental bridges will only change the way you speak to better.
Care for the Dental Bridges?
Note that the success of your dental bridge generally depends on the health of adjacent teeth. The adjacent teeth must be strong and offer a solid foundation for the success of the dental bridge. It is, therefore, important to keep the remaining teeth in your mouth healthy and strong.
Observe good and proper oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing at least twice daily using a toothbrush with medium bristle, a fluoridated toothpaste, and an antiseptic mouthwash. Doing this daily will help in preventing periodontal disease, dental caries, and any other dental issues that may lead to tooth loss.
It is also important to avoid unhealthy lifestyles like chewing and smoking tobacco, and to select a balanced diet for proper nutrition. More so, try as much as possible to regularly visit your dentist for a dental cleaning and check-ups – at least twice a year. This will help to detect any dental problem at the early stage when immediate treatment can still help to prevent severe dental issues.
For more dental bridges overview, schedule a consultation with any of our professional dental practitioners today.