Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
A typical bridge consists of two crowns (one on each side of the gap created by missing tooth/teeth) and a false tooth/teeth (that fill in the gap and is attached to the crowns). These two crowned ‘anchoring teeth’ are called abutment teeth .These supporting teeth can be natural teeth or dental implants. The false tooth/teeth in between the anchoring teeth are called pontics. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials.
The benefits of dental bridges:
- Restore your smile.
- Restore your ability to properly chew and speak.
- Maintain the shape of your face.
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth.
- Prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of position.
During the first visit for getting a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them.
Next, impressions of your teeth are made, which serve as a model form which the bridge, pontic and crowns will be made by a dental laboratory. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while your bridge is being made.
During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new permanent bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite.
This is dependent on each individual’s case. If the dental bridge is a fixed (permanent) bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is permanently cemented into place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cost will vary according to the size and type of bridge you need. Your Dentist will give you an estimate after consultationn and treatment plan before beginning the dental treatment.
Dental bridges can last 5 to 7 years and even longer. With good oral hygiene and regular professional cleaning, it is not unusual for the life span of a fixed bridge to be over 10 years.
Replacing missing teeth should actually make eating easier. Until you become used to the bridge, eat soft foods that have been cut into small pieces.
It can be difficult to speak clearly when teeth are missing in the front area of the mouth. Wearing a dental bridge with the front teeth in proper position will help you speak more clearly.
It is important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong as the success of the bridge depends on the solid foundation of the surrounding teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Your dentist or dental hygienist can demonstrate how to properly brush and floss your teeth. Keeping a regular professional cleaning schedule will help find dental problems early when treatment can be more successful. Eating a balanced diet (more fruits, vegetables and fiber than meats) is important for general body health and oral health.