What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth.
Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures. In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. antilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space.
Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. Bridges require your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but will last as many ten years or more.
Who is a candidate for dental bridges?
If you have missing teeth and have good oral hygiene practices, you should discuss this procedure with our office. If spaces are left unfilled, they may cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position. Additionally, spaces from missing teeth can cause your other teeth and your gums to become far more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease
How is dental bridge accomplished?
Dr. Albers will prepare your teeth on either side of the space for the false tooth. You will be given a mild anesthetic to numb the area, and the Cosmetic Dentistry will remove the an area of each abutment (teeth on either side of the space) to accommodate for the thickness of the crown. When these teeth already have fillings, part of the filling may be left in place to help as a foundation for the crown.
We will then make an impression, which will serve as the model from which the bridge, false tooth and crowns will be made by a dental laboratory. A temporary bridge will be placed for you to wear while your bridge is being made until your next visit. This temporary bridge will serve to protect your teeth and gums.
On your second appointment, the temporary bridge will be removed. Your new permanent bridge will be fitted and checked and adjusted for any bite discrepancies. Your new bridge will then be cemented to your teeth.
Traditional Fixed Bridge
A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. There two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.
Resin Bonded Bridges
Resin bonded bridges are used when the abutment teeth are healthy and don’t have large fillings. The false tooth is fused to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth with a resin which is hidden from view. This type of bridge reduces the amount of preparation on the adjacent teeth.
In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. This procedure involves anchoring the false tooth to one side over one or more natural and adjacent teeth.
Advantages of dental bridges
Bridges are natural in appearance, and usually require only two visits to your dentist. If you maintain good oral hygiene, your fixed bridge should last as many as ten years or more.
Disadvantages of having a dental bridge
It is common for your teeth to be mildly sensitive to extreme temperatures for a few weeks after the treatment. The build up of bacteria formed from food acids on your teeth and gums can become infected if proper oral hygiene is not followed.
Oral health care and bridges
The following recommendations will help to eliminate, or reduce, any oral health problems while your teeth bonded by a bridge:
- Brush your teeth carefully after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, as food may become lodged causing the gums and teeth to become infected. This may lead to further complications resulting in the loss of the bridge.
- Floss daily. We may recommend using a floss threaded for hard-to-reach places between the bridge and its adjacent teeth.
- Have your teeth cleaned every 6 months by an oral health professional.
- Limit your sugar and starch intake, as debris left behind from these types of foods may turn into damaging acids, which, in addition to promoting plaque formation, may also be harmful to teeth and gums.
- Avoid hard and/or sticky snacks. This includes foods such as popcorn, hard or chew candy, caramel, and/or nuts.
Most bridges last 8 to 10 years with proper oral hygiene.