Losing one or more teeth due to an accident or poor dental hygiene should never be ignored. Even if the tooth is one that cannot be seen, it should be treated promptly. If left untreated, the gap caused by the missing teeth can cause your other teeth to shift, affect your face shape, and disrupt your bite. In addition, missing teeth can affect the way you speak and the way you chew your food. One of the remedies for filling in the gap caused by missing teeth is the dental bridge. A dental bridge will not only restore your beautiful smile but will help prevent further damage. We, at Mor Smiles, will explain your options and help you choose the most effective treatment for your particular situation as part of our restorative dentistry services.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge does exactly what it sounds like it does. It bridges the gap between your missing tooth and the teeth on either side of the gap. It’s an effective method of replacing missing teeth. The artificial teeth that are placed in the gap are called pontic teeth. The teeth located on either side of the space caused by missing teeth are called abutment teeth. These are the teeth to which the dental bridge is anchored.
In the process of dental bridging, a dental crown is placed on the abutment teeth before the pontic teeth are attached. The crown entirely covers the healthy teeth on either side of the gap to strengthen and protect them. Crowns have been placed for years and have been made of various materials including gold or other metals. Today, porcelain and ceramic crowns are popular because they can be made to exactly match your natural teeth.
What Are the Different Types of Dental Bridges?
There are three primary types of dental bridges: traditional, cantilever, and Maryland bridges. Implant supported bridges are becoming more popular. Instead of attaching the bridge to a natural tooth, the pontic tooth is implanted in the gap. The type of bridge used depends on which is most effective for each patient.
The traditional dental bridge is the most common and is done when natural teeth are on both sides of the gap. Traditional bridges are durable and most appropriate for missing molars. They are typically constructed of porcelain or ceramic fused to metal, making them strong and sustainable. The cantilever bridge is similar to traditional bridges but they are attached to only one side of the gap. These are not as common as they once were. Both the traditional and cantilever bridges require crowns. The Maryland bridge does not need a crown to be placed over the healthy teeth. This bridge is typically used to replace missing front teeth.
How Long Will the Dental Bridge Last?
Dental bridges can last up to a decade or even longer with proper care. Eating certain hard foods, like hard nuts, popcorns, caramel, hard candies, etc. may weaken the bridge and over a period of time can damage it. Additionally, you need to maintain proper brushing, flossing, and make sure you have regular exams with our dental professionals to ensure your teeth, including your bridge, remain healthy over the long-term.
Dental bridges are essential not only for maintaining good dental and oral health, but so you can keep your beautiful smile. Dental bridges and related dental services are available here, at Mor Smiles. Our telephone number is: 223-258-5088. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about dental bridges or any of our other dental services. We look forward to meeting with you soon.