What You Should Know If You Are Considering Getting Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are designed to bridge gaps created by missing teeth. It is easy to understand how they work. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for teeth on each side of a gap. Dentists refer to the teeth on each side as abutment or anchoring teeth. The tooth in between the anchoring teeth is referred to as a false tooth or pontics. They can be made of alloys, porcelain or even gold. Note that for dental bridges to work, they must be firmly supported by natural teeth or implants.
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges come along with several benefits. The most common one has to be the fact that they can restore your smile. They can also restore the ability to speak, smile and chew without difficulties. Dental bridges can also do the following:
- Prevent your teeth from drifting out of their natural position
- Distribute forces in your bite by replacing missing teeth
- Retain the shape and structure of your jaw and face
- Improve your smile
Types Of Dental Bridges
There are three main types of dental bridges in modern dentistry:
- Traditional bridges – They feature crowns of the implant or tooth created on either side of the missing tooth. The pontic stays in between the bridges. Of the three types of dental bridges available, the traditional dental bridge stands out as the most common one. It can be made of ceramics or porcelain fused to metal.
- Cantilever bridges – They come in handy when there are adjacent teeth on just once side of the missing tooth or teeth. Unlike traditional dental bridges, cantilever bridges are not common. They are not recommended for molar teeth as they can put too much pressure on other teeth and damage them.
- Maryland bonded bridges – They are also referred to as resin-bonded bridges. They are mostly made of porcelain fused to metal, plastic or plain porcelain. Some feature plastic gums supported by porcelain or metal framework. With Maryland bonded bridges, porcelain or metal wings are bonded next to your existing teeth for structural integrity.
Your dentist will first examine your teeth to ascertain what needs to be done. He will then prepare abutment teeth once sure you need a dental bridge. Preparation here involves procedures like recontouring and reshaping your teeth. This is usually done by removing a portion of your enamel to give room for dental crowns to be placed over them. You don’t have to worry about the process as it is not painful.
Next, impressions of your teeth will be made. The impression will serve as a model from which your dental bridge, pontic and crowns will be made. Your dentist will then make you a temporary bridge to wear. This will offer protection to your exposed teeth and gums as the bridge is made. The temporary bridge will be removed on your second visit to your dentist. The new metal or porcelain bridge will then be checked and properly adjusted as necessary to guarantee you a proper fit. Once fitted, you will still need to visit your dentist often to check the bite and fit of the metal framework.