A dental bridge is a false tooth that bridges the gap between two natural teeth when you are missing a tooth. These are held in place by binding to the two surrounding teeth. Dental bridges have both functional and aesthetic value. There are several different types of bridges and they come in a few different materials. When you have your appointment at Summit Dental Group, our dental professionals can explain which type would be the best choice for you.
The Importance of Bridges
Dental bridges do well to mimic your natural teeth and have multiple functions. When you have a missing tooth, the overall functioning of your mouth can be affected. Functions like chewing and talking can be lost whereas bridges help to restore this functionality. In addition, bridges help to redistribute your bite force so that it is more even throughout your mouth. They also help to maintain the shape of your mouth, keep other teeth in place, and give you a more natural smile.
Types of Bridges
Dental bridges can be made from a variety of materials such as porcelain or gold. The material used will be a factor in determining the lifespan of the bridge, though most last between 5 and 15 years. These different materials have pros and cons such as looking more natural and being more durable. The exact material used will depend on the location of the tooth as well as the function it is serving. For instance, porcelain looks more natural, but is also more brittle, than gold. Gold does not blend with your teeth, but it does have a longer lifespan.
As well as the various materials used, there are also four different types of bridges; traditional, cantilever, Maryland, and implant-supported. These differ in the way they are placed. Traditional bridges are false teeth held in place by dental crowns that are cemented to the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side of the crown). Cantilever bridges are held in place by a crown which is cemented to only one abutment tooth. Maryland bridges utilize a framework (metal or porcelain), which bonds to the back of the abutment teeth, instead of a crown to hold in place. Implant-supported bridges are supported by a surgically placed implant.
The specific process will depend on the type of bridge you get. Traditional bridges are the most popular type and implant-supported bridges are the most stable. To begin, you will meet with your dentist to discuss the different types of bridges and the pros and cons on each. At this time, your dentist will also examine your mouth and take an x-ray to help determine the best option for you.
Bridges generally take multiple appointments to complete. At your first appointment, your dentist will numb your mouth and file the abutment teeth to a supportive shape. We then take an impression of these teeth and send it to a lab for permanent bridge construction. You may get a temporary bridge while you wait on the permanent one to be made. At the next appointment, your dentist will numb your mouth again and place the permanent bridge using a dental cement.
We will give you after-care instructions which you must follow to have a successful recovery. If you need a dental bridge, contact Summit Dental Group today.