A Dental Bridge is a structure made to bridge the gap created by or more missing teeth.
Bridges help to:
- Restore your smile
- Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
There are three main types of dental bridges:
involve creating a crown for the tooth or on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (replacement tooth) in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramic.
are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth.
Maryland bonded bridges
have metal wings on each side of the bridge (tooth) and are bonded to your existing teeth.
What is the process for getting a dental bridge?
At the first visit the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side) are prepared. This involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by the dental technition. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while your bridge is being made.
At the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new permanent bridge will be checked and adjusted if necessary to achieve the correct fit. When the dentist is happy with the position and fit, the bridge is permanently cemented into place.
How long do dental bridges last?
Dental bridges can last from five to fifteen years or longer as long as you take good care of them. With good oral hygiene and regular check ups, it is not unusual for the life span of a fixed bridge to be over 10 years.
How do I care for my bridge?
It is important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong as the success of the bridge depends on the solid foundation offered by the surrounding teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Your dentist or dental hygienist can demonstrate how to properly brush and floss your teeth. Having regular dental check-ups enables problems to be diagnosed at an early stage. Having a healthy nutritional diet is also important.