When one single tooth is lost, it is expected that five or more other teeth may shift or move. For this reason it is important to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible. Dental bridges may be the solution. Leaving the space may also cause other problems, teeth may drift into the space changing your bite, and this may result in a sore jaw, gum disease or tooth decay due to difficultly cleaning the teeth.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are false teeth that are supported by neighboring teeth in order to replace one or more missing teeth.
They can be attached either permanently, so that they are called fixed dental bridges, or that they are removable, as in a denture. We fuse the false tooth in between two cosmetic porcelain crowns which serve as anchors bridging them together. Fixed dental bridges can replace several teeth or just one tooth.
Dental bridges can be an excellent solution because they look and feel like the natural teeth. Dental bridges are used to aesthetically eliminate the gap left by a missing tooth, giving you a comfortable wear and a beautiful smile.
They improve chewing and speaking, ease stress on the bite, and cosmetic dental bridges can also help support your facial bone structure.
What is the procedure for the placement of dental bridges?
Dental bridges, regardless of type, will generally require two visits. In your first appointment, we will prepare the teeth surrounding the gap, then take a mold and place a temporary cosmetic bridge. The mold is used as a guide for the crafting of your cosmetic dental bridge.
On your next appointment, we will bond your dental bridge into place.
What are the different types of dental bridges?
Dentistry offers several types of dental bridges, which can be made of durable porcelain, gold, or composite materials. There are three main types of dental bridges:
Traditional fixed bridges: this is the most commonly used type of bridge and consists of two cosmetic porcelain crowns that are anchoring the porcelain teeth or implants.
Resin bonded bridges: this is an option when the gap to be filled is in between the front teeth and when the adjacent teeth on either side of the missing tooth do not have large fillings. The false tooth has two metal bands that are bonded to the adjacent teeth.
Cantilever bridges: these are mostly used for the front teeth as they are susceptible to lower stress. Cantilever bridges are used when the teeth present only one side of the space, as anchorage.
When are dental bridges needed?
Bridges are recommended when there are one or more teeth missing that affect your:
Smile and appearance.
Bite, as a result of adjacent teeth leaning into the space and altering the way the upper and lower teeth bite together.
Shape of your face.
Gum disease and tooth decay, as a result of food accumulated in the gap.
How long will dental bridges last?
Dental bridges can last 10-15 years provided that you maintain good dental hygiene and eating habits.
How to take care of your cosmetic dental bridges?
Practice good dental hygiene:
Clean the dental bridge every day and prevent tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.
Clean under the false tooth every day.
Keep the remaining teeth healthy as these serve as the foundation for the dental bridge.
Traditional methods to replace a missing tooth or teeth include the fabrication of a bridge. To replace a missing tooth with a bridge, at least one tooth on either side of the space created by the missing tooth must be prepared for a crown. Then a false tooth is joined to the crowns, and the entire structure is cemented to the prepared teeth. The patient cannot remove the bridge, and special aids are available to keep it clean.
For those patients that suffer from dental anxiety, we offer Conscious Sedation to help you feel more relaxed during treatment.