Creating beautiful smiles is our specialty!
Creating beautiful smiles is our specialty!
WHAT ARE DENTAL BRIDGES?
A dental bridge helps fill the gap caused by a missing tooth by placing a false tooth in its place. The false tooth is held in place by the natural teeth on either side, which act like anchors to keep the false tooth from moving or coming out.
The bridge consists of crowns for the two anchor teeth, to make them sturdier and help withstand the added pressure caused by the missing teeth, while more importantly helping the false teeth stand in place. The bridge can also be supported by an implant in the absence of natural teeth that can provide it the support it requires. Our experienced team at Clearwater Smiles will ensure you can move forward without any worry about your teeth or bridges.
TYPES OF DENTAL BRIDGES
There are three different types of dental bridges:
Traditional dental bridges: These are the most popular types of bridges. In traditional bridges, one false tooth is held in place with crowns placed on either side of the false tooth. This is one of the sturdiest options for dental bridges and can be used on the molars at the back of the mouth which are mostly responsible for grinding and chewing the food. Traditional bridges are mostly made of porcelain or metal alloys. When placing these bridges, in order to fit the crown on the adjacent teeth, the dentist will need to file the natural enamel on the teeth to ensure the crown can be cemented well to the natural teeth. The only drawback here is the loss of natural enamel of the teeth, as it does not grow back. However, the crown fitted on top of concerned teeth protects them from natural wear and tear, just like the enamel would.
Cantilever bridges: These bridges are used when there is only one natural tooth next to the false tooth. The crown is then cemented to the single natural tooth, much like a traditional bridge and used to the hold false tooth in place. The only concern with these kinds of bridges, apart from the removal of enamel on the natural tooth is that, the restoration might act as a lever in some cases, as it is supported on only one side, causing instances of fractured tooth or loose crowns.
Maryland bridges: Maryland bridges are often used as an alternative to traditional bridges as they do hold the false tooth in place using two adjacent natural teeth, but instead of using crowns, the bridge is bonded to one side of the natural teeth using resin. This avoids the requirement of filing the enamel off the natural teeth. However, Maryland bridges are not the sturdiest of all options as their strength depends upon the resin that is holding them in place, which might be weakened if subjected to biting and chewing with too much force.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR GETTING A DENTAL BRIDGE?
During the first visit for getting a dental bridge, the teeth to which the bridge will be attached are prepared. Preparation involves reshaping these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of the teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge will be made. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the permanent bridge is being made.
During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new porcelain or metal 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 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 cemented into place and your smile is restored to its proper health state!
HOW LONG DO DENTAL BRIDGES LAST?
Dental bridges can last five to 15 years and even longer. With good oral hygiene and regular checkups, it is not unusual for the life span of a fixed bridge to be over 10 years.
It is important to keep remaining teeth healthy and strong as the success of the bridge (depending on the type selected) depends on the solid foundation offered by the surrounding teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing and using an antiseptic mouthwash daily help 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 teeth.
BENEFITS OF DENTAL BRIDGES
The benefits of dental bridges are many, from restoring your smile and maintaining the shape of your face, to distributing the pressure of your chewing and biting to adjacent teeth, thereby removing possibilities of further damage to other teeth. It also prevents the natural teeth from moving from their position, helping you chew and speak properly.
At Clearwater Smiles Dentistry, our team will do everything possible to ensure that your oral health is protected and your smile is intact.