If you have a missing tooth or teeth, you know how frustrating it can be. Whether it’s biting and chewing or simply smiling with confidence, there are a lot of issues that come with missing teeth. When you are considering a tooth or teeth replacement, one option that may be a good choice to meet your needs is a dental bridge.
A dental bridge is a prosthetic that bridges the gap between teeth where a tooth or teeth are missing. With a dental bridge, anchors are used on either side of the bridge to hold the bridge in place.
There are a few different types of bridges, with the traditional bridge being a very common one. With this type of bridge, there are two abutment teeth that are attached to the pontic (artificial tooth or teeth). This creates the bridge. Another type of bridge is the cantilever bridge. This bridge involves abutment teeth on just one side. The third most common is the Maryland bridge. With this bridge, a metal or porcelain framework is used. This is bonded to the back of the teeth that are supporting the pontic. Finally, there is the implant-supported bridge. This type of bridge requires three or more missing teeth. Implants are placed on the furthest-most gaps to secure the bridge. In the middle is a false tooth or teeth.
Each type of bridge has its drawbacks and benefits. For instance, some will be more secure, and others will require less reshaping of natural teeth. Speak with your dentist about which type of bridge is best for your needs.
There are a few things that may lead to the need for a dental bridge. One reason would be an accident in which your teeth are either knocked out or damaged to the point where an extraction is required. You also may have a tooth that has gotten so infected that it can no longer be saved and needs to be pulled. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to speak with your dentist about replacement options as soon as possible. There are a lot of oral health issues that come with not replacing a missing tooth or teeth. You don’t want to risk your oral health getting worse because you didn’t have the tooth or teeth replaced.
You may be a candidate for dental implants, a dental bridge, or dentures. If you have multiple options to choose from, you may need to consider your budget and insurance coverage.
Dental bridges offer a stronger bite and a natural look. Because of this, you may want to consider a dental bridge over partial dentures if the option is there.
The process of placing a dental bridge will depend on the type of bridge that is being placed. For traditional bridges, you’ll first see your dentist to have an impression made of your teeth. Your dentist will send the impression to a dental lab for them to create your prosthetic. In order for the bridge to properly fit on the abutment teeth, they will need to be shaped. While you are waiting for the dental bridge to be fabricated, you will be given a temporary crown over the reshaped teeth. After the bridge is completed, your dentist will place the bridge and ensure the fit and appearance are good. They will then use dental cement to ensure the bridge stays in place. Cantilever bridges are similar, but they only attach to the teeth on one side of the gap where the tooth is missing.
For an implant-supported bridge, your dentist will install titanium screws into your jawbone to hold the bridge in place. When they have healed and fused with the jawbone, your dentist will make a mold and a lab will create your bridge based on that mold. Finally, the bridge will be cemented or screwed in place.
There are some fantastic benefits to dental bridges. One major benefit is the ability to bite and chew your favorite food like you did before. With some replacement options (like dentures) you have to be a lot more careful with what you eat. A dental bridge will allow you to bite and chew with confidence.
Speaking of confidence, many people feel a slip in their confidence and self-esteem when a tooth or teeth fall out, are knocked out, or are extracted. With a dental bridge, you can smile wide with confidence. They are made to look extremely similar to natural teeth. Most people won’t even notice they are there!
After you’ve had your dental bridge installed, you’ll want to make sure to take good care of it, along with your overall oral health. While dental bridges are durable, avoid chewing on hard things like ice. You’ll also want to take extra good care of your oral hygiene around the bridge, as well as in general. This means brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day, every day. While the bridge is made up of false teeth, the surrounding teeth aren’t. You still have to worry about gum disease, tooth decay, and more. If you have a traditional or cantilever bridge, you still have natural teeth that are anchoring the bridge in place. If these teeth suffer decay, it can affect the stability of the bridge. Also, your bridge can stain, so you should limit your soda, tea, coffee, and red wine intake to lessen the chances of staining.
If you notice any cracks or damage to your dental bridge, set an appointment with your dentist for as soon as possible so they can check the stability of the bridge and see if any repairs are necessary. You’ll also want to set regular appointments with your dentist for general cleanings and checkups to ensure your ongoing oral health.
For more information about dental bridges, reach out to Oxboro dental today!