Crowns and Bridges
A dental bridge can be used to:
- Restore an attractive smile
- Reduce the risk of gum disease
- Restore the ability to bite and chew
- Improve speech
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Types of Dental Bridges
There are three main types of bridges:
Also known as fixed bridges, traditional bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. The procedure involves creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic, or a false tooth, in between. Fixed bridges are the most common type of dental bridges and are either made out of porcelain fused to metal or out of ceramics.
Also known as Maryland-bonded bridges, resin-bonded bridges are primarily used for the front teeth. They are less expensive than fixed bridges and are best for use when the teeth are healthy and do not have any large fillings. During this procedure, a false tooth is fused with resin to metal bands which are then bonded to the adjacent teeth and hidden from view. Resin-bonded bridges require only minimal preparation of the adjacent teeth.Before
These bridges are used in areas of the mouth that are under minimal stress, such as the back teeth. Cantilever bridges are recommended when there are teeth on only one side of the open space.Before
The Dental Bridge Procedure
There are several steps that are taken in order to create a bridge:
The adjacent teeth must be prepared. This involves removing some of the enamel to allow room for the crown to be placed over them.
Impressions of the teeth are made. These will be sent to a laboratory so a bridge, a false tooth or pontic, and crowns can be created to fit the unique configuration of the patient’s mouth. During the 2 to 3 weeks while the bridge is being manufactured, the patient will be given a temporary dental bridge to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
During the next dental visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and replaced with the new, permanent bridge. The doctor will make sure the bridge fits properly and cement it to the teeth.
Recovery After a Dental Bridge Placement
Replacing missing teeth should make eating easier, but until they get used to the bridge, patients are advised to eat soft food cut into small pieces. For a few weeks after receiving a bridge, it is common to experience increased sensitivity to extreme temperatures. Patients will also notice a difference in their speech which will become clearer with the permanent bridge in place.
Results of a Dental Bridge Placement
With good oral hygiene, a dental bridge will last from 5 to 15 years, sometimes longer. Patients must remember to practice proper care of their teeth and gums to prevent the build-up of bacteria and formation of plaque. Regular dental visits and cleanings will still be required.
Related Bridgework Articles
Fixed vs. Removable
For those patients who have lost all their teeth, but have not lost significant bone, a fixed bridge (permanent non-removable teeth) may be the treatment of choice since the new bridge is not needed for facial and lip support. However, not all patients are candidates for this treatment… Read Article
Implants vs. Bridgework
Considerations to help you decide what is right for you. However, a discussion with your dentist is necessary to discuss your specific situation. Please see your dentist to review all the risks, benefits and alternatives to determine which option is best for you… Read Article
Related Dental Crown Articles
Porcelain Crowns & Veneers
A closer look at two innovative techniques and strategies to improve your smile. In many instances these two restorative techniques can produce nearly identical esthetic results, even though they are structurally different… Read Article
Value Of Quality Care
Are all crowns created equal? One of the most important factors adding to cost is the quality of the crown itself. Another fact is that dentists generally sub-contract out crown manufacturing to a dental laboratory technician, as they rarely make crowns themselves… Read Article
Creating In-Office Dental Restorations With Computers
Once upon a time, dentists – and patients – needed to wait weeks for a dental laboratory to make crowns and other dental restorations. Now, with an exciting digital technology known as Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), some dentists are fabricating high-quality restorations themselves right in their own offices – in minutes! Read Article