Dentistry has evolved to offer various treatments to restore your mouth’s health and function. One such treatment is the dental bridge, a prosthetic device used to replace one or more missing teeth.
By understanding the benefits and process of getting a dental bridge, you can make a well-informed decision that serves the needs of your oral health. Like a bridge spanning the gap between two shores, a dental bridge connects the spaces in your mouth.
A dental bridge offers a number of advantages, which can restore the function of your mouth and improve your overall quality of life. Getting a dental bridge is relatively straightforward and can usually be completed in two visits.
Dentists can advise on the best type of dental bridge for your needs and guide maintaining it for long-term use. Finally, other alternatives exist if a dental bridge is not your best option. By considering all the options, you can make an informed decision that will best serve your needs.
A dental bridge is a metaphorical bridge that joins the gap caused by one or more missing teeth, providing a more aesthetically pleasing and functional smile. It is a type of prosthetic device that is custom-made to resemble the patient’s natural teeth and is usually anchored by two dental crowns placed on the healthy teeth adjacent to the gap. The false tooth or teeth are attached to the crowns in between, making it a bridge.
Dental implants can also support a dental bridge, depending on the type of bridge and the patient’s oral condition.
The dental bridge procedure usually takes two appointments to complete. The abutment teeth are prepared during the first appointment, and their impressions are taken. The impressions are then used to fabricate the bridge, which usually takes two weeks. In the second appointment, the bridge is fitted onto the abutment teeth and secured with dental cement.
Proper oral hygiene is important to ensure the bridge lasts and functions properly. A temporary bridge is also available, which may be used until the permanent bridge is ready. This helps maintain the teeth’ alignment and prevent other teeth from shifting into the gap.
With proper care, a dental bridge can last many years and should be replaced if damaged. Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth and restore a beautiful, functional smile.
Benefits of a Dental Bridge
Replacing missing teeth with a dental bridge can offer numerous advantages. A dental bridge is an artificial tooth or teeth held in place by abutment teeth or implants on either side of the gap. These abutment teeth are usually the adjacent teeth of the missing tooth or teeth. Bridges can be resin-bonded, traditional, or implant-supported.
Resin-bonded bridges are made of artificial teeth connected to a metal or porcelain framework. Traditional bridges are made of porcelain fused with metal and are the most popular type of bridge. Implant-supported bridges are made of artificial teeth connected to an implant fused to the jawbone.
A bridge can help maintain the shape of the face and the proper bite alignment. It also prevents the adjacent teeth from shifting and the other teeth from overcompensating for the missing teeth. A bridge also helps with speech and chewing difficulties and provides a natural look and feel. It also helps improve oral health, as it is easier to clean the area around the bridge than around missing teeth.
A permanent bridge can be placed in one visit and is designed to last for many years. Regular dental hygiene is important for the bridge to last and function properly. The dental bridge is placed in position, and the patient can begin to enjoy the benefits of the bridge right away.
Types of Dental Bridges
Various dental bridges exist, each offering its distinct advantages and disadvantages, providing a range of options for replacing missing teeth.
The most common dental bridges are cantilever, implant-supported, and traditional fixed bridges. A cantilever bridge holds a single tooth in place by being attached to adjacent teeth, while an implant-supported dental bridge uses implants to support the bridge. A traditional fixed bridge uses a false tooth held in place by two crowns placed on the adjacent teeth.
A partial denture is another option for replacing missing teeth. This type of bridge uses a metal or plastic plate and is held in place by metal clasps attached to adjacent teeth.
In addition to the bridge, additional treatments such as a floss threader may be recommended to ensure healthy teeth and reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Treatment options for replacing missing teeth depend on the individual and vary based on the number of teeth missing, existing teeth, and other factors. A dentist can help determine the best type of bridge for each individual’s needs, considering each option’s costs, benefits, and risks.
Process of Getting a Dental Bridge
Getting a dental bridge involves several steps to ensure a successful outcome. Depending on the types of bridges being used, the dentist will first evaluate the patient’s mouth to determine the best approach. This includes examining the anchor teeth and determining the size and shape of the artificial tooth root to be used.
The patient will then be scheduled for a cementation appointment where the bridge is fitted and cemented. Before the cementation appointment, the patient may be required to have an impression appointment. This involves the dentist taking an impression of the patient’s mouth, which will be used as a model for the bridge. In some cases, surgery may be required for implant abutment or to prepare the anchor teeth for the bridge.
Temporary teeth may be recommended while the bridge is being created and fitted. This helps to maintain the patient’s aesthetics until the bridge can be attached. Proper care of the temporary teeth is essential for a successful outcome. After the bridge is cemented, the patient will be required to attend follow-up appointments to ensure the bridge is properly attached and to monitor the patient’s dental care.
Best Candidates for Dental Bridges
Candidates ideal for a dental bridge have several features in common, such as a row of dominoes standing in line.
An ideal candidate for a dental bridge should have lost a tooth or have multiple teeth missing making it difficult to chew and speak.
It is also important for the patient to have a strong jawbone condition that will support the bridge. Additionally, the patient should have healthy teeth adjacent to the space filled with the bridge.
The dental procedure for a bridge requires a permanent tooth to be implanted in the gap, usually using an imitation tooth made of porcelain. This procedure is covered by most dental insurance. However, reviewing the cost estimates with the dentist before deciding is important.
If the gap is too large, it may be necessary to fit a temporary denture before the permanent bridge is put in place.
It is important to remember that the success of the dental bridge is dependent on the patient’s oral health, and the bridge should be taken care of diligently with regular brushing and flossing.
Regular check-ups are also recommended to ensure the bridge is properly fitted and to prevent dental issues from occurring.
How to Maintain a Dental Bridge
Maintaining a dental bridge is essential for preserving the bridge’s longevity and effectiveness. Proper maintenance can help to ensure that the bridge continues to provide a natural-looking and comfortable fit.
To maintain a dental bridge, it is important to implement a regular oral hygiene routine that includes the following:
Brush the bridge and adjacent teeth at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. Be sure to clean the plastic teeth, porcelain wings, ceramic teeth of the bridge, natural abutment teeth, and metal teeth (if present).
Floss the bridge and adjacent teeth at least once a day. Use an up-and-down motion to ensure that all parts of the bridge, including the dental resin cement between the bridge and the neighbouring teeth, are cleaned.
Visiting the Dentist
Maintain regular visits to the dentist to ensure that the bridge and natural tooth root are properly cleaned and inspected. If any adjustment is needed, the dentist can make the appropriate modifications to the bridge and natural regular tooth.
By following these steps, people with dental bridges can ensure that their bridges remain an effective and comfortable fit. With the correct care, a dental bridge can last many years and give people a natural-looking smile.
Alternatives to a Dental Bridge
Replacing missing teeth can be a challenging experience, but there are alternative options to a dental bridge that may be better suited for some individuals. Depending on the circumstances, such as the number of consecutive teeth missing, the tooth extraction, the size of the tooth gap, and the surface of the adjacent teeth, placement of crowns may be advised.
This is usually a more involved procedure than a bridge, and the usual procedure is to place a crown on each abutment tooth surrounding the gap.
When consulting with dentists about replacement options, the type of bridge selected, the recovery time, and the cost should be discussed. Alternatively, an implant can be used to replace the missing tooth.
This procedure requires a titanium post to be inserted into the jawbone, and the artificial tooth is connected to the post. It is important to note that an implant may not be the best option in all cases, and a bridge may be more suitable.
Finally, a removable partial denture may be recommended to replace missing teeth. This is usually the least expensive option but requires more maintenance than a bridge. The denture is placed inside the mouth and held in place with metal clasps. It is important to clean the partial denture regularly to maintain good oral hygiene.
The dental bridge is a popular restorative dentistry procedure used to replace missing teeth. It offers many advantages, such as improved oral health, enhanced appearance, and improved ability to chew and speak.
Dental bridges come in various types and require specific maintenance for longevity. The best candidates for a dental bridge are those with healthy adjacent teeth and good oral hygiene.
The dental bridge is a reliable and effective way to replace missing teeth. It is important to consider all available options before committing to the procedure and to follow the advice of a qualified dental professional.
With proper maintenance and care, a dental bridge can provide a lasting solution to missing teeth, restoring function and aesthetics.
If you are considering a dental bridge to replace missing teeth, North Ryde Dental at Macquarie Park, NSW, is here to help. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing a reliable, long-lasting solution to your dental needs. Contact us today to learn more about how a dental bridge can benefit you.