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Dental Bridges: Are They the Right Option for You?

By summer on October 28, 2013


A dental bridge can form a bridge over the gap that has been created from one or more teeth that are missing. Bridges are composed of two crowns that are secured onto the teeth on both sides of your gap and false teeth in the middle. The anchoring teeth are referred to as the abutment teeth. The teeth that are false are referred to as pontics and can be formed from an alloy, gold, porcelain or combination of these various materials. Implants or your own teeth support the bridges.

Benefits to Having a Dental Bridge Put Into Place

Bridges are able to offer you the following benefits:


  • Ability to restore your smile

  • Restore the manner in which you speak or chew your food

  • Maintain the current shape of your face

  • Prevent your remaining teeth from moving out of their current position

  • Distribute the necessary forces in your bite appropriately by replacing those teeth that are missing


Types of Bridges that are Available to You

Three distinct types of bridges are available from which you can choose:


  • Traditional These bridges involve the creation of a crown for your tooth or implants that are on the surrounding sides of your missing tooth and a pontic in the middle of the teeth. This particular type of bridge is considered to be the most common amongst all bridges. It is made of a porcelain material that is affixed to metal or ceramic.

  • Cantilever A cantilever bridge is the option when you only have a tooth on one of the sides surrounding your missing tooth.

  • Maryland Bonded This type of bridge is composed of a plastic teeth and gums that are supported with the metal framework. Using metal wings on the surrounding sides of your bridge, they are bonded onto your natural teeth.


Process Involved with Getting Your Bridge

During the initial visit to your dentist, your abutment teeth are prepped for the procedure. This preparation involves taking those teeth and contouring them by removal of a portion of the enamel to provide extra space for the crown to be placed on top of the teeth. An impression of your teeth will then be made, which helps to serve as a model for the lab to make the bridge and crowns. The dentist will create a temporary bridge to help protect your gums and teeth while the lab is creating your permanent bridge.

In your second visit, the temporary device is removed and the permanent one will be adjusted and checked to ensure you have a proper fit. It may be necessary to undergo multiple visits to help check your bite and framework. It all depends on the individual, so you never know how many visits it is going to take for the process to be complete. If the bridge is permanent, the dentist can place a temporary cement to give you a couple weeks and ensure it is a proper fit. After these couple of weeks, the dentist will cement the bridge into place permanently.

Cost of Dental Bridges

The cost of bridges will vary based upon the type of bridge you choose and where it is that you live. Dental insurance will often cover a percentage of the fee, but it all depends upon your specific plan.

Length of Time for the Devices to Last

Bridges can last anywhere from five years up to 15 years or even more. If you have good oral hygiene and consistent checkups at the dentist, the bridge can last for more than 10 years without any issues.

Eating with a Bridge in Place

When you replace the missing teeth with the bridge, it should help to make the process of eating simpler. Until you are used to eating with the bridge, you will want to eat softer foods that can be cut into small pieces.

Does the Bridge Affect How You Speak?

It can be quite difficult to talk clearly when you have missing teeth. When you wear a bridge along with your anterior teeth being in the proper position, it will help you talk clearly.

Caring for Your New Bridge

It is imperative that you keep all of the remaining teeth in your mouth as healthy and strong as possible for the bridge to be successful. Your bridge all depends on having a strong foundation in your surrounding teeth. Brushing and flossing your teeth a couple of times per day will help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay that ultimately leads to the loss of your teeth. The dentist will help show you the proper manner in which to floss and brush your teeth. Make sure to maintain a consistent cleaning schedule to help diagnose any potential problems at an early stage when your treatment plan has a better prognosis. Selecting a diet that is balanced to help ensure the proper nutrition for your body is imperative.

 

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