A dental bridge is made of two or more crowns, and a prosthetic tooth (or teeth) in between that is placed over a gap to bridge it. Natural teeth or dental implants support the bridges. The crowns on both sides of the socket are called abutment teeth, whereas the prosthetic teeth are called pontics. The pontics are made of gold, porcelain, alloys, or a combination of these.
What are the Advantages of Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges repair the look of your smile and face and allow you to speak and chew food as you normally would. By replacing lost teeth, the bridges balance out the forces in your mouth and help prevent your natural teeth from moving out of place.
What kinds of Dental Bridges are Available?
The three types of dental bridges used most often are cantilever bridges, Maryland bonded bridges, and traditional bridges. When asked which type is the best, we respond that we look at each patient's needs and treatment plan to determine which option is best for them.
Cantilever bridges are used if surrounding teeth are left on just one side of the missing teeth (or tooth). This type of bridge is known to put extra pressure on the adjacent teeth and damage them, so we try to avoid placing it in the back of the mouth. Cantilever bridges aren't used as much now as in previous years.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
Maryland bonded bridges are made of metal or porcelain wings on one side of the bridge that is bonded to your regular teeth. This type of bridge is supported by a metal or porcelain framework. The crowns used are crafted from porcelain, porcelain that is bonded to metal or plastic.
Traditional bridges are the most commonly used option for dental bridges. They consist of ceramics or porcelain bonded to metal. For the procedure, we make a crown for the Dental Implant or tooth on one side of the lost tooth and put a pontic in the center.
How well do Dental Bridges work?
Many people are concerned that it becomes harder to speak and eat properly once they get dental bridges, but speaking and eating without them is what's challenging. Once you replace the missing teeth with a bridge allows you to perform these tasks with much more ease and comfort.
Getting a dental bridge that lines up with your front teeth will improve your ability to speak properly. However, we suggest eating only soft foods cut up into small pieces until you get accustomed to your new dental bridge.
Caring for Dental Bridges
The strength of the teeth adjacent to the bridge and the quality of your oral hygiene will determine the longevity of the bridge. For that reason, you should act proactively in caring for your natural teeth. Always remember to brush and floss twice a day to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Antiseptic mouthwashes also help ward off these problems. Come in for dental check-ups and professional cleanings once every six months so we can examine your bridge for any abnormalities.
For more information, please contact our office at (970) 812-3959.