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Dental Bridges: How Do They Help Align Your Bite?

Dental Bridges: How Do They Help Align Your Bite?

The way teeth function is as a unit. Each tooth works together to make biting, chewing, and even talking much easier for a person. If even one tooth is missing, it makes the entire unit’s job just a little bit more complicated. Any irregularities in the teeth could lead to a number of issues such as bite problems, chewing difficulties, unnecessary stress on the teeth and jaw, and even psychological stress over physical appearance. This is why dental bridges are important as they can help correct and address all these.

Why Does a Person Need Dental Bridges?

Dental decay happens when the bacteria in plaque reacts with sugars, creating acids that gradually dissolve the enamel and dentine of a tooth. In some cases, dental decay can be fixed by filling the hole created by these acids. But in others, when a tooth is far too damaged, a procedure to take the tooth out will need to be performed. If the latter happens, dental bridges are the next recommended procedure to take. They fill in the gap left by the extracted tooth or teeth and prevent misalignments and any other complications from happening.

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.

There are three types of dental bridges.

  1. Traditional bridge. This 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. And the lab will mold the dental bridge afterwards. Before the patient leaves the clinic, the dentist will provide a temporary bridge for the patient to wear. This will protect the exposed teeth and gums.

The second visit is for the removal of the temporary bridge and for trial of the new one. From there, the dentist will see if any adjustments need to be made in order to get the perfect fit. Multiple visits might be needed for this adjustment phase. This is because it is extremely important to make sure that the metal framework of the bridges fits the patient and does not disrupt their bite.

Proper Care for Dental Bridges

In order to maintain the quality of the bridge, the remaining teeth must be kept in good, healthy condition. This is because the bridge is dependent on the foundation that the remaining teeth provide.

It is recommended to brush twice a day, floss, and use an antiseptic mouthwash. Regular visits to the dentist are also highly recommended as well as being mindful of a balanced diet to properly supplement the body’s need for nutrition.

It is important to keep in mind that the procedure for dental bridges has minimal risks when done right. Dentists are highly trained to ensure that the patient’s comfort and well-being are prioritized.

Learn more about Cosmetic Dentistry here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Bridges and Partial Dentures
https://www.dentalhealth.org/bridges-and-partial-dentures
Accessed March 17, 2021

Dental Decay
https://www.dentalhealth.org/dental-decay
Accessed March 17, 2021

Bridges
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/bridges
Accessed March 17, 2021

Dental Health and Bridges
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-bridges
Accessed March 17, 2021

Dental Bridges
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/10921-dental-bridges
Accessed March 17, 2021

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Written by Veronika Caraos Updated Nov 10, 2021
Fact Checked by Vincent Sales