Dental Bridges Restore Your Smile!
A dental bridge helps correct tooth loss and prevent the shifting of your teeth by attaching a replacement tooth to the natural teeth on either side. Whether you choose a temporary bridge or a fixed (permanent) bridge, this helps you maintain the alignment of your teeth so you can eat and speak properly.
The Process of Getting a Dental Bridge
A bridge is a dental prosthesis that spans across an area of your mouth where there are missing teeth. On each end of the bridge is a crown, which caps the teeth on each side of the space being filled by the bridge. An artificial tooth, or multiples if there is more than one missing tooth, will then connect to each crown – filling the gap created by your missing teeth. When you visit your dentist to get a bridge placed, the dentist will first gently prepare the neighboring teeth for beautiful and functional crowns. This will involve some reshaping of those teeth to ensure your new crowns fit securely and can support the bridge. Next, your dentist makes an impression of the missing tooth or teeth and the neighboring teeth. This impression is used to create a bridge that will look and feel more natural. After the bridge has been created in the lab, your dentist will fit it to your mouth and check to make sure your bite alignment is correct and that the bridge is comfortable.
What are the types of dental bridges?
A conventional fixed bridge is the most common type of bridge. For this type, the dentist places a crown the teeth on either side of the gap in your smile. Then a false tooth is placed to “bridge” the gap between teeth. A benefit of this type of bridge is that teeth on either side of the bridge provide support. A cantilever bridge is also a fixed dental bridge. Typically, a 3-unit bridge, this consists of two crowns positioned side by side on the same side of the gap, connected to the false tooth. This type of bridge is best for areas of the mouth not significantly used for chewing or other stressors. A temporary bridge will be placed when you are waiting for a permanent bridge to be made. This temporary bridge is not made of porcelain like the permanent bridge, so it will be less sturdy, but will be easy to remove when you visit to receive your permanent bridge.
Who is a candidate for dental bridges?
Good hygiene habits are very important for patients who are considering a dental bridge, because the supporting teeth of the bridge must be well maintained. If you smoke, have weak supporting teeth, or other periodontal issues, your dentist will most likely explore other options.