Bridges are an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They are formed to look like the missing tooth, and take its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The false teeth are called pontics. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or aesthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. When left untreated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating an unwanted chain reaction. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to “fall.” As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.
There are many benefits to having dental bridges to replace missing teeth. Getting your confidence back is one of the most important ones. Our bridges restore your smile and make you feel like yourself again. You also gain back your ability to both chew your food and speak properly. If you currently suffer from this, you know how important it is to get it back. Bridges also maintain the shape of your face, creating its best physical appearance. Preventing your teeth from shifting out of position is arguably the most important reason for getting a bridge. Allowing this to happen, instead of treating the issue, is what leads to much more serious problems and ultimately takes away your confidence and smile.
When a patient comes in to discuss their options for dental bridges, we inform them that there are three different types of bridges. All of your options will be discussed in detail when you visit our clinic. Your first consultation is free.
Traditional bridges are the most common type of dental bridge. They are made of porcelain and fused to metal or ceramic material. Porcelain is used because it is easy to manipulate the color and therefore match the other teeth in your mouth to create the most natural look.
Cantilever bridges are less common. These are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth. If you have missing teeth in the back of your mouth, this type of bridge will not be used.
Maryland bonded bridges
Maryland bonded bridges can be made out of porcelain or plastic teeth and gums both of which are fused to metal for support. These are bonded to your existing teeth.
Our patients like to know what to expect when they come in for any type of dental work. We give as much information as we can in order to put their mind at ease. Below are frequently asked questions when it comes to dental bridges.
What Is the Process Like When Getting a Dental Bridge?
First off, we examine the current state of your oral health to make sure a bridge is your best option. Once it is determined you can have one, we move forward. We take impressions of your teeth in order to create the perfect fitting bridge. If you require crowns, those will be made in the dental lab as well. You will receive a temporary bridge that you need to wear in order to protect your teeth and gums and stop any further movement of your teeth.
On your second visit, we take out the temporary bridge and insert the new one. We do another check once the final bridge is placed in your mouth to make sure it does not need any more adjustments and fits properly. You will need to come in for checkups so that we can closely monitor the fit and comfort of your new dental bridge. Our dentists do excellent work, making these check-ups quick and painless for you.
How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?
The cost of your dental bridge varies. It varies depending on the type of bridge you need and the type of dental insurance you currently have. Depending on your insurance, a certain percentage of the cost is typically covered.
Will My Bridge Have to Be Replaced?
Dental bridges are a great solution to missing teeth because they last a very long time. When you practice proper oral hygiene at home and have regular cleanings at your dentist, bridges can last up to fifteen years or longer. Getting a dental bridge is an important step in protecting your teeth, maintaining it is equally important.
Is Eating Affected By a Dental Bridge?
At first, eating may feel a little odd and soft foods are recommended in the beginning. Overall, having your missing teeth replaced actually makes eating easier because your teeth and jaw can perform correctly.
Will My Speech be Affected by the Bridge?
Since a bridge fills in your missing teeth, you will actually speak more clearly than you did when you were missing teeth. This is one of the first things our patients notice once their permanent bridge is placed.
How Do I Care for a Bridge at Home?
You must continue to practice good oral health at home. This is what makes your bridge last as long as it does. You should continue to brush and floss at least twice a day, and use mouthwash. This simple routine will prevent further tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Coming in for your regular check ups and cleaning is crucial. Our dentists are trained to not only clean your teeth, but also to spot problem areas before you may even notice them.