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What You Need To Know About Dental Bridges
Posted by Dr. Nahida Kazi on Mon, 12 Sep 2022
What You Need To Know About Dental Bridges
What Is A Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge allows you to replace one or more missing or broken teeth with an artificial tooth. It’s called a “bridge” because it essentially connects two or more crowns over natural teeth on either side of the space made by the missing teeth to hold the artificial teeth.
A dental bridge can be fixed or removable. This means you can decide whether you want to have permanent bridges in place or take them out after a particular time. The pontics, or fake teeth, can be made from porcelain, gold, metal alloys, or a combination of several materials.
Bridges are a good option when tooth decay is severe, when the infection is so deep that a filling or root canal cannot salvage the tooth, or when a tooth is damaged beyond repair due to an injury or accident.
Why Choose A Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is an excellent way to restore your smile and your ability to chew food and speak more clearly, as they shift the forces in your bite.
The artificial teeth that will be placed will look and function exactly like your natural teeth, especially if you choose a material that will resemble the colour and shade of your other natural teeth.
Dental bridges are recommended when dental crowns may not be a viable option. For example, when a tooth or several teeth are missing or have to be removed. A dental crown is a type of dental restoration involving placing a cap that covers the tooth or a dental implant to change its size and shape to how it originally was.
Dental Bridges are an alternative to permanent dental implants, which are more expensive, require a surgical procedure, and may not always be appropriate, depending on your circumstances. In some cases, however, your dentist may recommend a combination of implants and bridges to secure the latter, especially if several teeth are missing.
Types Of Dental Bridges
There are various options available if you’re interested in getting a dental bridge. Your dentist may be able to perform the procedures or may refer you to a prosthodontics specialist. The most popular type of bridge, also known as the “traditional bridge,” involves placing crowns over the teeth on either side of the gap that will have to be filled with the dental bridge.
Traditional bridges can be permanent or removable. Maryland bridges are another less invasive kind of bridge, which are attached to a porcelain or metal framework behind the teeth on either side of the gap to be filled.
Cantilever bridges are good options for patients who do not want a setup that may damage the teeth on either side of the gap, as they only require a single crown for support. As mentioned earlier, the last option involves bridges supported by dental implants, which are used as anchors. This option requires surgery and is more costly; however, it is also the most secure.
How Many Visits Are Required?
The number of appointments and the procedure length will depend on the type of bridge your dentist thinks will be most appropriate for you.
For traditional bridges, the teeth on either side of the gap must be prepped to remove any decay. Your dentist will then take an impression of your mouth so the bridge can be constructed. You will likely be given a temporary bridge to wear to protect damaged teeth until the permanent bridge is ready. This temporary bridge will be removed a few weeks later at your next appointment, and your dentist or specialist will affix the permanent bridge with adhesive.
If you opt for a bridge that requires the placement of a crown, like a cantilever bridge, you may have to attend an extra appointment. In any event, most bridge types will need at least two visits to your dental clinic.
Don’t be alarmed if your gums are sore after the dental bridge placement or if they bleed a bit. Your gums will need a few weeks to heal fully, but you shouldn’t experience soreness or discomfort after a few days. If you require an implant-anchored bridge, the process will be longer and need a few more steps and precautions. In any event, your dentist or specialist will walk you through the entire process so you can prepare and plan accordingly.
Caring For A Dental Bridge
Your dentist may recommend that you avoid certain foods or stick to a soft food diet until you are fully accustomed to the bridge. Caring for your bridge is relatively easy, and attending your dental clinic at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings will help prevent further decay.
Dental Bridge Considerations
The cost will vary depending on the type and complexity. Depending on your oral hygiene and other factors, they can last anywhere between 10 to 20 years. In any event, your dental insurance may be able to cover a percentage of the cost, but we recommend that you check with your insurance company beforehand.
If you are interested in a dental bridge and believe you may be a good candidate, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.