Dental Bridges

Dental Bridges

Numerous treatments exist for severely damaged or decayed teeth; however, there are instances when a tooth becomes irreparable, leaving a noticeable gap in your smile. Such gaps can significantly impact your confidence and even affect the functionality of your other teeth and overall oral health. Over time, the remaining teeth may shift, leading to misalignment and various associated dental issues.

Dental bridges address this issue by filling the gap with a false tooth that closely resembles and feels like a natural tooth. This prosthetic tooth stabilizes the adjacent teeth, preventing them from shifting into the vacant space.

Dental bridges consist of two or more crowns on the teeth flanking the gap, anchoring the false tooth or teeth that fill the space.

Once the dental bridge is installed, it should appear nearly undetectable.

The supporting teeth are commonly known as abutment teeth, while the artificial teeth are often referred to as pontics.

Depending on the desired cosmetic outcome, the pontics can be crafted from various materials, such as metal alloys, gold, or porcelain. Opting for porcelain allows color matching to your existing teeth, ensuring a seamless and natural appearance.

Dental bridges come with several benefits, as they can:

  • Prevent the displacement of your remaining teeth.
  • Facilitate proper biting and chewing.
  • Address bite issues.
  • Ensure the correct alignment of your jaw.
  • Preserve the natural shape of your face.
  • Enhance the aesthetic appeal of your smile.

Dental bridges come in three main types, and the recommended choice depends on the location of the missing teeth in your mouth.

TRADITIONAL BRIDGES

The most frequently suggested option for addressing missing teeth is the traditional bridge. This method involves crafting crowns for the teeth on each side of the gap, anchoring the pontic between them. Typically made from porcelain fused to ceramic or metal, traditional bridges are a common choice.

RESIN-BONDED BRIDGES

Also known as Maryland bonded bridges, this type can be fashioned from various materials such as porcelain fused to metal, complete porcelain, or, at times, plastic teeth and gums supported by a porcelain or metal framework. Metal or porcelain wings on each side of the bridge are securely bonded to your natural teeth.

CANTILEVER BRIDGES

Cantilever bridges are employed when only existing teeth on one side of the gap can serve as anchors. However, caution is necessary when using cantilever bridges in the posterior part of the mouth, as they were previously associated with issues due to excessive pressure on the anchor tooth, leading to damage and potential breakage.

The dental bridge process involves a minimum of two visits to your dentist. A comprehensive examination of your teeth will be conducted in the initial appointment.

After administering a local anesthetic, the abutment teeth will be prepared by removing some enamel to reduce the tooth’s size, allowing the crown to cover and conceal it entirely. Subsequently, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth, guiding the dental lab in crafting your crowns, pontic, and bridge to ensure a perfect fit. To safeguard the abutment teeth and the gap, a temporary bridge will be placed while the final bridge is in production.

Upon completion, you’ll return for a follow-up visit, during which the dentist will remove the temporary cover and install the final bridge. Achieving an ideal fit may require multiple visits to ensure precision. Before permanently cementing the bridge, your dentist may recommend a ‘trial run’ involving temporary adhesive to confirm comfort before the secure placement with permanent cement.