Tooth loss is a common problem in the United States; it may be an injury, tooth decay, or periodontitis. If you have missing teeth, you may have difficulties eating and pronouncing certain words. Tooth loss can also affect your appearance, making you self-conscious and affecting your self-confidence. The good news is that Whitehall dental bridges can fill the gap with one or more artificial teeth, restoring your smile.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are appliances made from a series of crowns to fit in the gap your teeth used to be. Crowns are false teeth and can be made out of gold, alloys, or combined materials. When replacing front teeth, dentists recommend porcelain since it mimics the natural color of your teeth. Dental bridges serve both functional and aesthetic purposes; they help you eat, speak better, and improve your appearance.
Types of dental bridges
- Traditional bridges. These are the most common type of bridges and can either be made from ceramics or porcelain fused to ceramics. You need a crown or implant on either side of the missing tooth. And a pontic in between for conventional bridges.
- Resin-boned bridges. Your dental professional may recommend resin-bonded or Maryland dental bridges if your front teeth are missing. Unlike traditional bridges that use crowns, resin-bonded bridges use porcelain or metal framework with wings, often of one side of the bridge, bonded to your natural teeth.
- Cantilever bridges. These bridges may be an option if only one side of the gap has a natural tooth. Cantilever bridges are uncommon, and dentists caution against using them at the back of the mouth since they can exert extra pressure on other teeth, damaging them.
The process for getting a dental bridge
For the first visit, your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth by removing a portion of enamel to create room for crown placement. Your dentist makes an impression on your teeth; it serves as a model to make false teeth in the laboratory. Your dentist may use a temporary bridge to protect the exposed teeth and gums as your bridge is made.
During the second visit, the dentist removes your temporary bridge and checks the fit of the new porcelain or metal bridge. The dentist makes adjustments if need be to ensure that the bridge fits well; you may require several visits to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. If you are getting a fixed bridge, the dentist may temporarily bond it for a few weeks to ensure it fits properly and cement it into place after a couple of weeks.
Caring for your dental bridge
Your natural teeth need to remain healthy and strong because the success of dental bridges depends on the foundation offered by the surrounding teeth. Brushing twice every day and flossing at least daily is essential to help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease that can cause tooth loss.
Talk to your dental professional at Advanced & Comfort Dentistry to determine if dental bridges are suitable for you.