Dental bridges like many other fixed dental apparatus are used to replace missing teeth, and are cemented or bonded in place. Dental Implants are always the first choice to replace a missing tooth as it is independent of other teeth and very strong, but cost may be a factor, a dental bridge is a good alternative. Bridges are comprised of two or more crowns that are fused together to form a bridge. Bridges are a fixed dental prosthetic devise that can only be removed by a dentist. Bridges are used to cover and strengthen a damaged or missing tooth and can add structure to your mouth so that surrounding teeth do not cave into it.
Bridges can also be placed on top of a dental implant to make it more attractive and give structure. Bridges can improve your smile, speech, bite while chewing, prevent shifting teeth and improve your overall dental hygiene.
Fixed dental bridges come in many types including conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges. Conventional and cantilever bridges require shaping of the teeth surrounding a missing tooth. Crowns are then placed on the shaped teeth and attached to an artificial tooth.
A resin-bonded bridge requires less preparation of adjacent teeth. It is often used to replace front teeth, provided that the gums are healthy and the surrounding teeth do not have extensive dental fillings.
Bridges are made from several different types of material including porcelain, ceramic, acrylic, gold & metal alloys. The alloys are usually used for the back teeth since they are stronger. The porcelain is used on top to give them a “natural” tooth look.
The procedure for dental bridges usually takes only two visits to the dentist. First they will examine the health of your gums and your teeth to make sure that adjacent teeth are strong enough to support a bridge. The dentist will then prepare the adjacent teeth to support the bridge.
Then the dentist takes an impression of your teeth with clay like substance and sends this to a lab to get the bridge made. Lastly, while your bridge is being made, your dentist will fit you with a temporary bridge to support and protect your teeth until your permanent bridge is ready. When your bridge is ready, you will return to the dentist and have your bridge fitted and cemented in place.
Depending on the health of your gums and strength of supporting teeth you may be required to see the dentist again to refit the dental bridge. If for some reason a supporting tooth becomes infected then a root canal may have to be done and the nerve removed. This usually solves the problem. Today with newer materials, we can be more conservative with tooth prep, but if a tooth is severly decayed, a root canal may be unavoidable.
Most dental bridges, with proper dental hygiene and regular visits to your dentist should last 8 – 10 years or more, although some have lasted 30 -40 years! Avoiding sticky foods and protecting your dental bridge with a mouth guard during sports activity will also help to prolong the life of your dental bridge.
To discover if a Dental Bridge is the most suitable choice for your teeth please book an assessment at 905-775-5307