As we age, our teeth grow vulnerable to several health conditions that can reduce the aesthetics of our smile. If, because of advanced decay or missing teeth, you don’t have the smile that you like, at Enhance Family Dental, we recommend getting a dental bridge.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are prosthetics that bridge the gap in your mouth, which can be created by one or multiple missing teeth. These bridges consist of a crown on both ends which are anchored on two teeth called the abutment teeth. The middle of the bridge consists of a single tooth or multiple teeth that replace your missing or natural teeth. These are called pontics or false teeth.
Bridges are like fixed, non-removable dentures.
Importance of Dental Bridges
A dental bridge restores the functionality of your mouth. It also gives your mouth the appropriate shape, which can seem sucked in due to the missing teeth. Bridges help you speak, chew food, and bite properly. They can also prevent adjacent teeth from shifting out of place.
How Are Dental Bridges Supported?
Bridges can be supported in the following ways:
A traditional bridge is created by capping the teeth on either side of the gap and placing a pontic between the crowns. The crown is supported by implants or natural teeth, or both. The pontic is held aloft by these crowns and fill the space created by the missing teeth.
If your teeth are healthy, dental bridges require removing the outer surface of your natural teeth to make space for the crown.
Choosing the Right Type of Dental Bridges
There are three main types of dental bridges:
A traditional bridge consists of a crown attached to each side of the false tooth.
A cantilever bridge involves a single crown that suspends a false tooth.
A Maryland bridge requires minimal preparation and erosion of the adjacent teeth. The false tooth is bonded to your natural teeth on both sides without a crown.
What to Expect During a Traditional Dental Bridge Placement Appointment
At Enhance Family Dental, the placement of a dental bridge requires more than one appointment. Before starting the procedure, we will inject you with a local anesthetic. Brian Hill, DDS will then file down the enamel from the abutment teeth to prepare for a crown. Impressions of your teeth will be taken and sent to a dental lab so that your bridge can be fabricated. You will be given a temporary bridge to wear while your permanent bridge is being made.
At the next appointment, your temporary bridge will be removed, and the fixed, permanent bridge will be placed. We may schedule another visit to ensure the bridge fits well in your mouth.
Taking Care of Your Dental Bridge
Your dental bridge can easily last for ten years with good oral care. One of the reasons dental bridges fail earlier is the lack of proper oral hygiene; cavities may form in the crowned teeth. To prevent this, you need to regularly brush and floss your dental bridge just like you would do to your natural teeth. We may also recommend fluoride toothpaste for you and strongly advise you to get a dental check-up at least twice a year.
Keeping your dental bridge clean can reduce the risk of bacteria build up, infection, and inflammation. For any oral health concerns, call us at (586) 666-4950 and schedule a visit.