Comprehensive Overview of Dental Bridges

Comprehensive Overview of Dental Bridges

Oct 01, 2021

The days when you had to endure gaps in your smile because of missing teeth have long gone past. Dentistry advances have ensured you can currently get aesthetic solutions to replace missing teeth with dental bridges.

If you recently lost a tooth to dental trauma, tooth decay, or any other medical condition, you may wonder which replacement solutions are ideal for your needs. The missing tooth would have impacted your self-confidence besides making it uncomfortable when chewing or speaking. When you have lost a tooth having it replaced becomes inevitable with a natural-looking prosthetic called a dental bridge.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of dental bridges helping you understand why you need them and how they benefit you.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are perfect for you after losing a tooth and having gaps in your mouth. The dental bridge fills the vacant space where your missing tooth existed earlier. The bridge helps create a natural appearance besides restoring the missing tooth. Dental bridges are secured in your mouth supported by the adjacent teeth near the gap left by the missing tooth. The neighboring teeth are called abutments, and your dentist places the fake tooth between two abutments existing in your mouth to hold it in place.

There are four types of dental bridges available to replace your missing tooth. You can have:

  • Traditional dental bridges create a filler tooth supported by dental crowns placed over the neighboring teeth to keep the bridge intact. Conventional dental bridges are the most common and made from porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. Traditional bridges are ideal if you have healthy teeth to function as abutments on both sides of the gap left by the missing tooth.
  • Cantilever dental bridges are ideal if you have a single tooth missing in the front or middle part of your mouth. This variety replaces a missing tooth after placing a dental crown on one side of a healthy tooth to support the bridge. However, cantilever bridges are unsuitable for the back teeth where chewing forces are higher.
  • Maryland dental bridges made from plastic, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal are ideal if you don’t want to undergo the intensive dental Bridge procedure and merely want a replacement bonded to your neighboring teeth.
  • Suppose you want an incredibly secure solution lasting you for a lifetime. In that case, you can consider implant-supported bridges requiring surgically embedded dental implants in your jawbone before you can have your artificial tooth.

What Are the Benefits of Using Dental Bridges as Teeth Replacement Solutions?

There are many benefits of using dental bridges to replace missing teeth. First of all, the dental Bridge procedure is minimally invasive than dental implants, and you can have your artificial tooth in approximately three weeks. In addition, having a dental bridge to replace missing teeth helps prevent your remaining teeth from shifting position and moving towards the blank space in your mouth.

Dental bridges enable you to chew and speak correctly while also maintaining the shape of your face without letting it distort because of missing teeth. The dental bridge functions as a replacement for your natural tooth; it helps restore biting force making it comfortable for you to chew complex foods like you would with your natural teeth. Most importantly, dental bridges are easy to maintain and last for over ten years with proper dental hygiene.

The Dental Bridge Placement Procedure

Your dentist will evaluate your mouth during your initial consultation to determine whether dental bridges are the ideal replacement solutions for you. After confirming your stability, the dentist will discuss the process, materials, and costs of placing your dental bridge.

You receive local anesthesia near the missing tooth area to help prevent pain and discomfort as the dentist prepares the neighboring teeth to function as abutments. The abutment teeth are filed from the top and sides to accommodate dental crowns.

After preparing your abutment teeth, the dentist takes impressions of your teeth for a skilled lab technician to fabricate your dental crowns and bridge. You receive temporary bridges to protect the prepared teeth until the dental lab returns your customized replacements.

You must revisit the dentist in about three weeks for placement of your permanent restoration. The dentist removes the temporary bridge during this appointment and fits you with the permanent restoration and artificial tooth.

Post-Operative Care for Dental Bridges

Now that you have your tooth replacement solution, do not consider it non-essential to maintain excellent dental hygiene. You must practice an oral hygiene regimen caring for your natural teeth and the dental bridge. Paying specific attention to the artificial tooth between the dental crowns is essential to ensure you don’t allow plaque buildup around the dental bridge. Dental plaque is responsible for gum disease, a leading cause of dental implant and bridge failure. Neglect your dental hygiene and visits to your dentist for cleanings and exams, and you may need dental bridge replacements sooner rather than later.

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