Dental bridges are used to fill a gap of multiple missing teeth. Bridges are anchored to surrounding natural teeth or dental implant posts in order to fill a larger gap in your mouth, giving you the look and feel of completely natural teeth. Overall, the placement process is very similar to that of dental crowns. When placed by an experienced provider like Dr. Andie Pearson, dental bridges look attractive and can last for years with little to no maintenance.
Dental Bridges Benefits
Dental bridges are a popular choice for the following reasons:
- Recreate the look of a complete, healthy smile
- Custom-designed to blend in with the surrounding natural teeth
- Allow patients to bite and chew normally
- Prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting or tilting toward the gap left by the missing tooth
Types of Dental Bridges
There are several different types of dental bridges. The type that is right for you depends on factors such as the location of the bridge in your mouth and the number of teeth being replaced.
A conventional or traditional bridge is the most commonly used bridge. An artificial tooth, called a pontic, is supported on either side by dental crowns. The crowns fit over the teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth, and the pontic fills the gap.
A cantilever bridge is a good option in cases where there is a tooth or teeth on only one side of the gap. Two abutment crowns are placed next to each other, with the pontic on the end.
A Maryland-bonded bridge consists of an artificial tooth supported by a set of metal or porcelain clips or wings. The clips attach to the backs of the existing teeth on either side of the gap to hold the bridge in place.
Securing a dental bridge to implant posts is a reliable way to hold the bridge in place while preserving the health of the underlying jawbone. The process to place an implant-supported bridge may require additional dental visits, depending on Dr. Pearson’s treatment plan.
Dental Crown Treatment Details
During the treatment planning process, you and Dr. Pearson will review the types of dental bridges and materials that can be used, and select the right fit based on the location of the bridge in the mouth and other factors.
To begin the dental bridge placement, Dr. Pearson prepares your natural teeth that will anchor the bridge on one or both sides. To prepare the teeth, she removes a small amount of tooth structure. Dr. Pearson then takes impressions or images of the prepared teeth and sends the information to the dental laboratory where the bridge is fabricated. She can place a temporary bridge to protect the prepared teeth.
When your permanent bridge is ready, Dr. Pearson removes the temporary bridge and positions the custom bridge in your mouth. She can make any final adjustments on the spot. If the two of you are happy with the look and fit, and the bridge supports a healthy bite, Dr. Pearson cements the bridge into place.
Bridge Post-Placement Care
Diligent at-home oral care will prolong the life of your dental bridge. Using special floss threaders is a good way to thoroughly floss the areas around your bridge and along your gumline, preventing the buildup of bacteria and plaque.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Bridges
How long do dental bridges last?
As long as you practice good at-home oral care and have your bridge checked regularly by Dr. Pearson, your bridge can last 10 to 15 years or more.
Can you chew normally with a dental bridge?
Yes, you can bite and chew comfortably with a dental bridge. Although you can enjoy most of your favorite foods, avoid very hard or crunchy foods, like shells or popcorn kernels, that could crack or otherwise damage your bridge.
What are the benefits of an implant-supported bridge?
An implant-supported bridge does not require removing any tooth structure from adjoining natural teeth. Since the implant posts replace natural tooth roots, implant-supported bridges are extremely stable and secure. Chewing on an implant-supported bridge also helps stimulate jawbone growth and prevent future bone loss.
Learn More About Dental Bridges
For more information about replacing one or more missing teeth with a dental bridge, please call or email Essentially Pure Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today.