If you are missing one or more teeth, then Dental Bridges is the solution for you.
Different people between the ages of 20 and 64 have at least three decayed or missing teeth according to a study. Fortunately, you have multiple options to get your missing teeth fixed.
Your dentist will recommend you to have dental bridges if you have one or more missing teeth.
It is a false tooth is known as pontic that holds in place the abutment teeth on either side of the gap. A variety of materials can be used to make pontic such as gold.
Generally, they are made from porcelain to aesthetically blend in with your natural teeth.
Dental Bridges: Why do You Need them?
The dental bridge will help you if you have missing teeth. The most common causes of missing teeth are as follows:
- Plaque and tartar cause gum diseases which can lead to tooth extraction.
- Bacteria that cause tooth decay.
- Injury as a result of an accident or falling off.
Some people have one or two missing teeth due to congenital conditions i.e. they may have been born with it.
You need healthy teeth on either side of the missing ones if you want to get a dental bridge.
Moreover, your teeth work together in order to bite and chew food. These teeth help to grind the teeth into tiny pieces so that they can pass through our food pipes.
If one or two of your tooth are missing, surrounding teeth can move into empty space.
The teeth in your opposite jaw can also help to move up or down towards space. This can cause you to face:
- Bite problems
- Chewing difficulties
- Pain from extra stress on your teeth and jaw
- Self-consciousness about the way you look or you smile.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are 4 main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional bridges
- Cantilever bridges
- Maryland bonded bridges
- Implant-Supported Bridges
According to The American Dental Association, the average adult has three or more decayed or missing teeth.
Thus, finding the right replacement is the key to a confident smile, and one of the most popular options is dental bridges.
Traditional fixed bridges create a filler tooth that helps the crowns placed over healthy teeth on either side of the gap in your mouth to keep the bridge in place.
This is one of the most common types of bridges and is typically made of porcelain fused with metals or ceramics.
To replace the missing teeth in your oral cavity, your dentist will use this type of bridge where there are healthy teeth on either side of the gap that is able to support a bridge between them.
Moreover, your dentist will reshape your teeth to fit the crowns before they place the bridge over your teeth.
This ensures that the bridges are strong enough to support the bridge.
You are recommended to get this type of bridge when you do not have supporting teeth on either side of the missing tooth.
Your dentist will fix the pontic so that only one side supports the bridge with a healthy tooth and crown.
Pontics are artificial teeth that your dentist will use to replace the natural tooth or teeth.
Moreover, when there are no teeth on either side of the missing teeth, then it indicates there are certain clinical situations.
A situation may occur when it is not desirable to prepare teeth on either side for a crown for aesthetic reasons.
For instance: If a front tooth in your mouth is on either side of the missing tooth.
Your dentist can also use it if that back tooth is missing. If the abutment is already supporting another prosthetic restoration, it may not be able to support a traditional fixed bridge.
They design to place cantilever bridges for the pontic to place outside of the abutment teeth. To support the pontic and the abutment, they will increase off the axis force to act on them.
Your dentist will carefully plan out to reduce the risk of destabilizing the abutment teeth as a result.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
Your dentist will use this type of bridge to replace the front teeth. They are also known as resin-bonded bridges.
Maryland bridge is made from a metal framework. Porcelain is infused into metal teeth to give them a natural look.
They will fix the pontic to the adjacent healthy teeth with metal or porcelain wings on either side of the bridge.
These types of bridges will be fixed behind the adjacent teeth.
This bridge does not require reshaping your teeth as in traditional bridges. However, the metal wings fit behind the abutment teeth instead.
Implant-supported bridges are similar to regular dental bridges, however, instead of being supported by natural teeth, they are supported by dental implants.
Your dentist will recommend these bridges when you have more than one missing tooth or when there is a higher chance you could put too much pressure on individual implants that are not connected.
Your dentist will place one dental implant for every missing tooth to create a series that holds the bridge in place.
In some cases, however, they may include a pontic tooth suspended between two implant-supported crowns if it’s not possible to place one implant for every lost tooth.
This procedure can take several months as you will need 2 surgeries, one for dental implants and another one to place the dental bridges.
Uses of Dental Bridges Based on Their Types
Your dentist will use either of the above bridges that depend on the specific purpose.
Each of these bridges makes them preferable for particular situations however, the main purpose of replacing a missing tooth remains the prior reason.
Moreover, they will recommend you get a traditional bridge because it offers the most strength for the bridge from the abutment on either side of the pontic.
However, if there is no place to fix the bridge on the side of the gap, your dentist will recommend you to get a Cantilever bridge.
This bridge uses off the axis force on the abutment tooth to
A Maryland bridge is the best option for abutment teeth that are highly visible. During this procedure, they will not reshape your teeth and will fix the crown because the pontic can adhere to the back of the abutment teeth.
Procedure for Dental Bridges
The procedure for dental bridges is a restorative treatment to replace your missing teeth.
The bridge will fill the gap between your healthy teeth or implants on either side to restore the function and appearance of the teeth in your mouth.
The procedure involves the following steps:
- Assessment of your Oral Cavity or your mouth
- Teeth preparation
- Bridge Placement in your Mouth
Assessment of your Mouth
In the first step, your dentist will assess your mouth or oral cavity for the need for restorative dental treatment to replace missing teeth.
They will examine the area and take X-rays of the jaw to gain a full understanding of the situation.
Moreover, they will discuss the possible option including the type and design of the bridge so you can understand the advantages and disadvantages of the bridge.
Teeth Preparation for Dental Bridges
Your dentist will place the bridge on the healthy teeth on either side of the gap which is known as an abutment.
During this, they will prepare your teeth for the placement of a dental bridge, which is necessary to shape them for the bridge.
To make you comfortable and avoid any pain, your dentist will inject local anesthesia in the area of treatment.
Your dentist will file the abutment teeth into an appropriate shape for the bridge to place on your healthy teeth.
Moreover, to construct the dental bridges, your dentist will send the impressions to the lab to make the bridges.
In some cases, a dental implant may be required to anchor the bridge, particularly if the teeth on either side of the gap are not strong enough to support the bridge themselves.
To protect your shaped and filled teeth, your dentist will place a temporary bridge for a few days.
Bridge Placement in your Mouth
Before starting this procedure, your dentist will inject anesthesia to avoid any discomfort and pain in the area of treatment.
Your dentist will remove the temporary bridge and clean the underlying teeth. To fix the permanent bridge your dentist will put Dental Cement to bond it with your healthy teeth.
You can visibly see the results after the placement of the bridge and it feels like biting the teeth together gently.
The feeling is unfamiliar at first however, it wears off quickly. Moreover, they will make an appointment after a few days or weeks if you need any adjustments.
Post Care for Dental Bridges
It is important to keep the remaining teeth healthy and strong as your bridge depends on the strong foundation of your teeth.
Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to prevent tooth decay and gum diseases that can lead to tooth loss.
After the placement of Bridges, your dentist will demonstrate how to properly brush and floss your teeth. Follow these instructions carefully to avoid any complications.
Moreover, regular cleaning, scaling, and polishing will help your dentist diagnose problems at an early stage when your treatment has a better prognosis.
Also, try to maintain a balanced diet full of nutrition to help you maintain oral and dental health.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Some advantages of dental bridges are as follows:
- To help you restore a natural look to your smile and mouth.
- It maintains the normal facial structure by preventing bone loss from the jaw.
- Prevents or stops the adjacent teeth from moving into space which can cause problems with your bite and lead to other complications.
- You are able to speak normally as missing teeth can impede proper enunciation.
- It restores your ability to chew food efficiently.
If you are missing one or more teeth, you will have to replace them with either dental implants or dental bridges. Moreover, discuss the possible solutions with your dentist snd the pros and cons of getting dental bridges.
Your dental bridge can last up to 15 years and even longer. Thus, maintaining good oral hygiene and regular check-ups for maintaining the lifespan of your dental bridges.