Dental bridges, which are made up of 2 crowns for the teeth on either side of a gap in the teeth, bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
A typical bridge consists of 2 crowns (1 on each side of the gap created by missing tooth/teeth) and a false tooth/teeth (that fill in the gap and is attached to the crowns). These 2 crowned ‘anchoring teeth’ are called abutment teeth. These supporting teeth can be natural teeth or dental implants. The false tooth/teeth in between the anchoring teeth are called pontics. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials.
Dental bridges are available?
There are 3 main types of bridges:
- Traditional fixed bridges consist of 2 or more crowns and a filler tooth/teeth. The filler tooth/teeth are attached to one or more crowns. The crowns keep the bridge in place. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only 1 side of the missing tooth or teeth (there are no teeth next to the other side of the missing tooth/teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain fused to metal teeth supported by a metal framework. Metal wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth. This type of bridge is commonly used to replace front teeth.
Dental Bridge Treatment Procedure
During the first visit, the abutment teeth are prepared. This involves re-shaping these teeth by removing a portion of enamel and dentin to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of your teeth are made. These impressions serve as a model from which the bridge, false tooth/teeth, and crowns will be made by a dental laboratory. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth while your bridge is being made.
During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new permanent bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Multiple visits may be needed to check the fit of the metal framework and bite of your teeth. If the dental bridge is a fixed (permanent) bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is permanently cemented into place.
Benefits of a Dental Bridge
- Restore your smile
- Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Painful is Dental Bridge Treatment
Patients will only need a local aesthetic to remain comfortable during the crowning process. There are mild toothaches and sensitivity but with painkillers, patient will be fine. But in case the pain is severe and prolonged, make sure you see a dentist.
Do I Clean My Dental Bridge
You should care for your bridge like you do any of your other teeth. Brush, Floss, etc. Yes, there are challenges with care like cleaning underneath the fake tooth. I usually suggest to my patients to use some type of oral irrigation device to clean the most difficult areas under the bridge. These devices can be used everywhere in the mouth and there are several on the market. Very reasonably priced especially considering that you spent a great deal of money for your fixed bridge.
Is my Bridge Hurting
Your dental bridge may hurt after the procedure. It’s normal, but the pain may subside after a few days. However, if it lasts for a week or more, it may be a symptom of an infection or a poorly fitted dental bridge.To avoid pain, follow an excellent dental hygiene. Always keep your bridge free of plaque by cleaning your teeth thoroughly and also floss around the bridge. There is a proper way to floss around your bridge, and your dentist will teach you that. Must be committed to a good type of dental cleaning to avoid decay under a bridge that may cause pain.