Dental restorations such as dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth by getting support from the adjacent healthy teeth on either side of the gap. The teeth support is called an abutment, while the ones that fill the gap are called pontics. Compared to conventional removable dentures, bridges are fixed to the teeth and may only be removed by a dentist and only when needed.
Types of Tooth Bridge
Dental bridges consists of four types:
A traditional dental bridge consists of one or two false teeth held in place by dental crowns that have been cemented to the abutment teeth. A traditional dental bridge is the most popular type of bridge and it can be used if the patient has natural teeth on both sides of the gap created from a missing tooth.
Cantilever bridges are designed when the abutment teeth are prepared only on one side of the gap. In this case, the pontic is located outside of the abutment teeth. This is used when the dentist sees that it is not desirable to prepare the teeth on both sides of the breach. It can also be used when no teeth exist on the other side of the breach. Also, when one of the sides is already supporting another prosthetic restoration.
Maryland bridge is a type of permanent restoration in which the prosthetic tooth is attached on either side of the gap; however, this type consists of a prosthetic tooth with metal “wings” on either side. These wings are bonded to the back of the teeth which means drilling away the tooth’s natural enamel is not necessary. The wings are attached with the use of composite resin cured under a special light.
This type of treatment uses dental implants as opposed to crowns to serve as frameworks. Normally, one implant will be placed for every missing tooth and these are used to hold the bridge in position. When one implant per missing tooth is not possible, the bridge may have a pontic supported between two implant-supported crowns.
Why do I need a tooth bridge restoration?
When your permanent tooth falls out, the surrounding teeth may drift into the gap causing it to tilt or fall out of alignment. This can also cause a multitude of oral health issues such as causing bite problems, placing more stress on the teeth and jaw joints, and also being susceptible to decay as tilted and shifted teeth can get harder to clean. Moreover, the jawbone can shrink causing sunken cheeks and distorter lips. A bridge will take the place of that missing tooth or teeth and prevent any teeth problems from occurring. You’ll also be able to smile confidently with your complete set of teeth.
Pros and Cons of Bridgework
Now that you know the various types of bridges and how it works, here are the pros and cons of this treatment.
Bridges are more affordable than implants
Dental bridges offer a non-invasive treatment, unlike implants. Moreover, it does not require that much precision to install, unlike implants. As with the cost, bridges are a cheaper alternative to implants.
Bone grafting is not needed
When the tooth or more is missing in the mouth for quite some time, the jawbone where the missing tooth once was may have already weakened or resorbed. Bone grafting will be able to strengthen the jawbone by placing artificial bone fragments, but this is not used for dental bridges; thus, no need for invasive surgery.
Better than Overdentures
Dentists will recommend bridges over dentures especially if there are plenty of healthy teeth left. The healthy teeth will act as anchors to the bridges, unlike dentures that are anchored to the gums and are using a temporary sealant to keep it secured.
Quicker to put in and heal from than other options
Bridges are faster to install as it does not need any surgical procedures such as bone grafting. Even if it only requires a few implants to anchor the bridge, it is still faster than the dental implant treatment.
Pontic teeth issues
If the abutment tooth is damaged, it can also affect your dental bridge treatment. This usually happens when the abutment teeth are not strong enough to support the bridge. The abutment teeth might also get weak because of this procedure and will need to be replaced with dental implants if it gets damaged.
If the crowns do not fit, the bacteria and plaque may get inside the tooth and may cause tooth decay. The crowns may also change the structure of your teeth and affect your bite.
Traditional bridges are made of two crowns, and an artificial tooth in the center that will act as a replacement for the missing tooth. The crowns and artificial teeth are made of materials such as porcelain, alloys, gold, or a combination of each. These are made in the dental laboratory and in one piece.
The teeth on both sides of the tooth are shaped by the dentist so that crowns can be precisely made on them. The dentist then cements the bridges into the patient’s mouth.
Recovery and Aftercare
With proper care and maintenance, your dental bridges can last for 15 years or more. If you want to make it last longer, here are some of the things you can do:
Brush your teeth regularly. Make sure to brush around the bridge the same as you would with your natural tooth.
Floss between the bridges and gums to get rid of any accumulated bacteria
To get rid of germs around the tissues and the dental bridge, use an antiseptic mouthwash.
Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and dental cleaning
Affordable Advanced expertise in fixed teeth restorations
If you’ve lost one or two teeth, then a dental bridge is the best solution for you. Set an appointment to see why our patients at Westerville, Ohio are smiling so brightly. If you are nearby, we are happy to answer your questions about this treatment or insurance or any other questions you have. Don’t spend another day hiding your smile.
Give us a call and set up an appointment at our dental office to find out more information about us, the dental bridges that we provide as well as their prices. Our friendly team is looking forward to seeing and assisting you in attaining a more radiant smile.
Dental bridges will be able to last for 5 to 15 years with an average lifespan of 10 years. How long these will last will depend on how you take care of your teeth. Dr. Pooja Banga DMD will make sure that your dental bridges will last for years.
Does food get stuck under a dental bridge?
Bridges are made to fit against the gum line, but there are cases where there is an open space between the bridge and gum. This allows for food particles to get trapped under it which results in bad breath, or worse, gum disease. When you practice proper oral hygiene like brushing and flossing your teeth properly, you won't have this problem.
Can you bridge your front teeth?
Yes. It is possible to bridge the front teeth since the chewing load in this location isn't that much compared to the back teeth. A Maryland, cantilever, or traditional bridge may be used to close the gap due to having a missing tooth.