What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges consist of two crowns and one or more false teeth. Dental bridges are structurally supported by the surrounding natural teeth. When a missing tooth is replaced using a dental bridge, the adjacent teeth (called abutment teeth) require restorations, usually crowns, in order to support the replacement tooth (called a pontic).
Why is it important to replace a missing tooth?
Leaving the space caused by a missing tooth empty can lead to a number of different problems. When a tooth is lost, the adjacent and opposing teeth may drift, causing a change in your bite that may lead to greater problems. The change in your bite can result in additional tooth loss, fractured teeth or fillings, jaw pain, and possibly headaches. Failing to replace a missing tooth can also lead to gum disease and other dental hygiene problems. Waiting to replace a missing tooth almost always leads to more complicated treatment, so it is important to replace the missing tooth as soon as possible.
What are the benefits of a Dental Bridge?
There are many benefits to replacing a missing tooth with a dental bridge. A dental bridge can:
- Restore the appearance and functionality of your smile
- Enable you to chew and speak properly
- Maintain the shape of your face by improving the appearance of sunken in cheeks
- Maintain proper occlusion by keeping surrounding teeth from shifting out of place
Types of Dental Bridge
- Traditional dental bridges – These are the most common and include a crown for each tooth adjacent to the gap (the abutments) with a pontic (another crown) between them. The teeth are constructed from porcelain that is fused to a framework made from metal or ceramic. The bridge rests in place as the crowns sit over the abutments and are cemented in place.
- Cantilever dental bridges – These are constructed in a similar fashion to traditional dental bridges with the exception that they are only attached to one adjacent tooth. Cantilever bridges are used when there are existing teeth on only one side of a gap.
- Maryland dental bridges (resin-bonded dental bridges) – These are made of porcelain teeth that are supported by a metal framework. They attach to adjacent teeth using metal wings which are bonded to the teeth.
What is the process for getting a Dental Bridge?
During your initial visit at Evercare Dental Group, diagnostic models will be made in order to determine the best dental bridge option for your specific case. Once the appropriate method of treatment is decided, the teeth used to attach the bridge (abutment teeth) are carefully prepared to receive crowns. Impressions are then taken and a temporary bridge will be cemented in place. Your permanent dental bridge is hand crafted in a dental laboratory to match the exact measurements of your mouth. Once it is complete, you will come back for a final visit where your final dental bridge will be cemented into place. At this time, your dentist will make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit.
How can I care for my new Dental Bridge?
Brushing and flossing are very important in caring for your new dental bridge, as well as to your overall dental health. Since it is not possible to floss between the teeth involved in a dental bridge, you will be given special hygiene devices and instructions to help ensure the proper care and maintenance of your new dental bridge.