Dental bridges are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. They are a cost-effective alternative to dental implants.
They offer immediate gap correction. Gaps can cause other teeth to shift and lead to problems such as bite issues, gum disease, sensitivity or even further tooth loss. Bridges also prevent the bone under a missing tooth from deteriorating.
There is a common misconception that dental bridges look artificial, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Thanks to technological advancements, the quality of modern dental bridges is indistinguishable from natural teeth. The shade of the bridge can be matched to your existing teeth so that it is virtually unnoticeable.
The type of material used in the creation of a bridge will also affect the way it looks. Your dentist will recommend the best material for your specific needs based on cost, durability and aesthetics. Common materials include porcelain fused to zirconia, all-ceramic or porcelain and metal frameworks covered in porcelain. Your doctor will also explain how to care for your bridge to maximize its lifespan. Proper oral hygiene is important for all patients but especially for those with dental implants and bridges, as it will ensure the longevity of the dental work.
The placement of a dental bridge is a relatively quick and painless process that usually only involves two office visits. During the first visit, your doctor will prepare your adjacent teeth by filing them and taking impressions to create a model of the bite. A temporary bridge will be placed to wear until the final bridge is made in a lab. On the second visit, your dentist will fit the bridge and test it for comfort.
Dental bridges are a permanent solution to missing teeth, and they feel and look very much like your natural teeth. They can last up to 15 years and longer, especially if you maintain proper oral hygiene. The lifespan of a fixed bridge depends on the stability and quality of its supporting teeth (abutment), and the health of these teeth is therefore extremely important. If one of these abutment teeth develops a deep cavity, gum disease or is lost, the entire bridge will be compromised and may need to be replaced.
The most common type of bridge is a traditional one that is made up of porcelain fused to metal, but there are other options such as Maryland bonded bridges which use metallic wings (often on just one side) to hold the crowns in place, and resin-bonded bridges which bond the crowns directly to your existing teeth. The process is relatively quick and easy – usually taking just two visits to the dentist. The first appointment will involve filing down the healthy adjacent teeth to prepare them for the crowns, and your dentist will then take moulds and fit a temporary bridge while waiting for the permanent one to be made.
The second appointment will involve fixing the permanent bridge with dental cement. After this you can eat normally, though it is recommended that you avoid eating hard foods on the bridge until you get used to it. Also make sure to floss on a regular basis to remove any food particles that could become trapped underneath the bridge.
Dental bridges are a great way to restore a smile that has been marred by missing teeth. They look natural and provide patients with a number of practical benefits, including improved chewing and speech. They also prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting, which can lead to bite problems and changes in facial shape.
The process of getting a dental bridge is relatively straightforward and doesn’t usually require significant recovery time. The dentist will first administer a local anesthetic to the teeth that function as abutments. This helps to ensure that the procedure is as comfortable as possible. The dentist will then prepare the abutment teeth by resizing and reshaping them. Once this is done, the dentist will take imprints of the area and send them off to a laboratory where the crowns and pontics will be made.
Once the bridge is installed, it will feel just as comfortable as your real teeth. However, it’s important to remember that they will likely require more attention than your normal teeth in the beginning as you get used to them. This is especially true when eating, as you will want to be careful not to dislodge or damage the bridge. You should also brush and floss regularly to remove plaque from the hard-to-reach areas around your bridge. In addition, it’s a good idea to use an antimicrobial mouthwash recommended by the dentist to kill bacteria in the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
Ease of Cleaning
Taking good care of your dental bridge is important for the health and longevity of the restoration. This means following recommended oral hygiene practices, such as twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. It is also necessary to attend regular checkups and cleaning sessions with a dentist or hygienist, which will allow them to spot issues that may be developing and prevent the need for bridge repairs.
Because the structure of a bridge includes artificial teeth fused to surrounding natural teeth, there is often little space between them. This makes it difficult to use traditional dental floss to clean the area effectively. Instead, a dental hygienist can recommend the use of a tepe brush or interdental brushes, which have bristles that are designed to reach between the teeth and bridge.
A water pick is another useful tool that can be used to remove food particles and debris from the area. It is a simple device that emits a stream of water, which can be used to clean between the teeth and along the gumline, removing plaque and reducing the risk for tooth decay. A water pick can be used in conjunction with flossing and followed by an antiseptic mouthwash to ensure the area is clean. A bridge should not be allowed to accumulate plaque or tartar, as this can lead to halitosis and potentially weaken the supporting abutment teeth.