Dental bridges: restoring your confident smile
One of the options dentists recommend to patients with a missing tooth is a dental bridge. Dentists offer dental bridges as an alternative to dental implants, as some people may prefer bridges to implants. A bridge is composed of a pontic (false tooth) attached to dental crowns on adjacent teeth. The purpose is to fill in a gap with a prosthetic that acts and feels like a real tooth. It is permanently attached in the mouth and easy to maintain.
Although dental implants are the ideal solution to lost teeth, they are not always applicable. People with shallow jawbone, for instance, are not ideal candidates for the procedure. Also, some patients cringe at the idea of drilling something into their gum and jawbone. Thus, the less invasive alternative is bridges. They have significant advantages aside from not being too invasive.
Replacing a missing tooth will
- bring back your confidence.
- improve speech sabotaged by missing teeth.
- allow you to chew properly without the sensation of a missing tooth.
- restore even distribution of bite pressure during eating.
- prevent teeth beside the gap from drifting and weakening.
Types of bridges
Traditional bridges are the most common among the three chief types. They are composed of a pontic secured by crowns on adjacent teeth. They are usually made of ceramic or porcelain.
Another type that’s also made of porcelain is the resin-bonded bridge. This is the easiest bridge to install and is also the least expensive. However, it’s not attached to nearby teeth via crowns but via metal or porcelain wings that hold the false tooth in place.
The third type is the cantilever bridge, which is like a false tooth attached only to a single existing tooth and is the most economical.
- Preparing the teeth – The teeth right beside the gap should be prepared prior to installing the crowns. The dentist will resize the teeth that will receive the crowns.
- Preparing the crowns and pontic – A fast set dental putty will take an impression of your teeth. The specialist dental ceramists will fabricate the bridge in the lab. While waiting for your dental bridge, you will have to wear a temporary bridge to protect the resized teeth and allow you to chew food properly.
- Fitting the permanent dental bridge – The dentist will remove the temporary bridge and fit the permanent one. He or she will install the crowns securely on the teeth.