Opting to get dental bridges done can do a number of good things for a patient. For one thing, it keeps the quality of their smile intact. It keeps the remaining teeth from moving into the space left by the missing tooth or teeth and it distributes the force of their bite more evenly. Another benefit is it allows a person to continue to chew food and speak properly, and it can actually maintain the shape of a person’s face as well.
Details of Dental Bridges
A dental bridge consists of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap left by the extracted tooth. These crowns are the bridges that offer support and in the middle of this bridge is the pontic, otherwise known as the artificial tooth or set of teeth to mimic the patient’s original. Artificial teeth are made from a variety of materials including porcelain, gold, alloy, or any combinations of these.
Dental bridges have a long lifespan. They can last for up to 15 years and possibly even longer with good care. Caring for dental bridges involves good oral hygiene and, of course, regular visits to the dentist for any maintenance and checkups.
With that being said, there are three types of dental bridges to know about.
- Traditional bridge. Involves creating a crown on either side of the gap with a pontic in between. This type is often made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramic.
- Cantilever bridges. These are not very common anymore and are not recommended to use at the back of the mouth because they could apply too much force on the other teeth. However, cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges, also known as the resin-bonded bridge. These are made of porcelain or plastic teeth, and gums that are supported by a metal or porcelain framework.
Procedure for Dental Bridges
The first visit is dedicated to preparation. Impressions of a patient’s teeth are taken, which will be sent to a dental lab to mold the dental bridge after. Before leaving, the dentist will provide a temporary bridge for the patient to wear in order to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
The second visit is for the removal of the temporary bridge and for the new one to be tried on. From there, the dentist will see if there are any adjustments to be made in order to get the perfect fit for the patient. It’s important to keep in mind that multiple visits might be needed for this adjustment phase because it is extremely important to make sure that the metal framework of the bridges fits the patient and does not disrupt their bite.