Dental Bridges

Dental Bridges

dental_bridgeFor a long time, dentures were the only fix dentists had for missing teeth. However, as the world developed, so did dentistry — and that’s how the first viable type of permanent tooth prosthesis, the dental bridge, came into being.

Dental bridges get their name from their structure. The prosthetic part of the piece “bridges” the gap left behind by a missing tooth (or missing teeth) and is attached to the mouth via dental crowns placed on the abutment teeth (the teeth adjacent to the gap). As such, bridges are an excellent type of permanent prosthetic that Dr. Allen Gotora from Stellar Dental recommends for many patients with missing teeth.

Why should I get dental bridges?

But dental bridges aren’t the only type of dental prosthetic out there. Dentures and dental implants are both common procedures that many patients prefer as well. So, you might be wondering, why should I get a dental bridge instead? While it’s certainly true that dentures, dental implants, and dental bridges are all effective procedures in their own right, different situations call for different solutions. Knowing when a dental bridge is your best bet, then, can be important if you’re ever in a position where you need to pick a procedure.

Dental bridges have two primary advantages. First, as mentioned already, they’re a (relatively) permanent prosthetic that, with good care, can last from 10-15 years. That means that, unlike with dentures, you don’t have to remember to wear the prosthetic. In fact, more likely than not, you’ll find it easy to forget that you have a false tooth in your mouth in the first place. You shouldn’t notice any difference between the bridge and your original tooth. This is aided by the fact that the bridge (again unlike a denture) requires no addition care. Your daily brushing and flossing regimen is more than sufficient to keep the prosthetic clean and functioning.

Furthermore, dental bridges are particularly effective for situations in which there are multiple missing teeth in a row. Because the “bridge” part of the dental bridge is just the false tooth and the actual attachment occurs at either end of the gap, replacing one missing tooth and replacing multiple missing teeth is functionally the same for the dentist. With dental implants, each missing tooth may mean an additional implant needs to be placed, so this feature of dental bridges can be particularly attractive for patients who need a couple of teeth replaced in their mouths.

What is the dental bridge procedure like?

dental_bridge1That being said, what is the dental bridge procedure actually like? To begin with, your dentist will prepare the teeth adjacent to the gap, also known as the abutment teeth, by grinding them down. This preparation is necessary because the dental bridge will be attached to the mouth via dental crowns on these neighboring teeth. Thus, the preliminary stages are identical to the preliminary stages of the placement of the dental crown procedure. The teeth will need to be meticulously filed down to leave space for the future crown.

While the abutment teeth heal, temporary crowns will be fitted over them while your dentist prepares the actual dental bridge. Dental crowns and false teeth alike will be carefully fashioned to match the original teeth as closely as possible. These pieces will often be created from a porcelain or ceramic material that can be dyed to the exact shade of the teeth, meaning that the future dental bridge will seamlessly blend in with the rest of the teeth in the mouth.

Once the bridge is completed, your dentist will carefully fit the bridge over the abutment, making minor adjustments until you find the perfect fit. Because dental bridges are permanently cemented, your dentist will want to do everything in his or her power to make sure that you experience no discomfort at all with your bite. Thus, it might take several visits to reach the best result.

Finally, when everything is set in place, your dentist will glue the dental bridge in place with a special type of cement that can bond the prosthetic to the prepared teeth. After that, you’ll have a permanent replacement for your missing tooth (or teeth).

If you think you would be a good candidate for a dental bridge, contact Dr. Allen Gotora at his Stellar Dental practice, a Maryland dentist, to get a professional diagnosis! You can reach our office at any time for more information. Just call (301) 754-1900 or visit our office’s website at http://stellardentalllc.com/ to set up an appointment today!