A missing tooth can detract from even the most beautiful smile. A dental bridge is a simple procedure performed by our doctor for patients in our region to restore beauty to their smile with a bridge made of natural, tooth-colored materials.
A dental bridge can fill the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge uses two crowns on the teeth on either side of the gap and a replacement tooth/teeth in between. These replacement teeth called pontics can be made from alloys, porcelain, gold or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges can be supported by your natural teeth or by implants.
Your dental bridge consultation
During your initial consultation, we will discuss treatment options tailored to your particular situation, your expectations, and the probable outcome of your treatment. You may be shown several before and after treatment photographs of patients having similar conditions, and you will receive an explanation of your treatment. Before and after photos may be taken of the area to be treated.
What are the benefits of dental bridges?
Dental bridges offer several benefits. They can restore your natural smile and your ability to properly speak and chew. They can distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth. Bridges will help to maintain the shape of your face and prevent your remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Are there different types of dental bridges?
There are three main types of bridges:
- The traditional bridge – a false tooth is held in place by two crowns on either side. This device is then fixated to the teeth at each side of the gap. These teeth are called the abutment teeth. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- A cantilever bridge is used when the missing tooth has an adjacent tooth on only one side.
- Maryland bonded bridge or resin bonded bridge is made of a false tooth or teeth supported by a metal framework. This framework is then bonded to the existing teeth on either side of the bridge. This type of bridge is often used to replace teeth missing in the front of the mouth.
How long will my dental bridge last?
With good oral hygiene and regular prophylaxis, it is not unusual for a fixed bridge to last 10 years or more.
What is the dental bridge procedure like?
Your treatment options are tailored to your particular situation. Fitting and placement of dental bridges is a multi-visit process.
During the first visit, the abutment teeth are prepared. This preparation may involve recontouring these teeth to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. We make impressions of your teeth which serve as the model from which our dental lab will make your bridge. We will make a temporary bridge for you to wear. This will protect the exposed teeth and gingiva while your bridge is being made.
During the second visit, our doctor will remove your temporary bridge, and check and adjust your new permanent bridge to achieve a proper fit. Depending on the type of bridge you receive, follow-up visits may be required to check the fit of your bridge and your bite. If your dental bridge is a fixed (permanent) bridge, it may be temporarily cemented in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. Once you are comfortable with the fit, your bridge is permanently cemented into place.
What’s it like after I get my dental bridge?
After our dentist performs your dental bridge procedure, it is not uncommon for your teeth to be a little sensitive to extreme temperatures. This may last for a few weeks. Some patients say wearing a dental bridge makes them feel more confident. Those with an anterior bridge find that once their missing teeth are replaced, eating and chewing is easier. They also tell us that until you become accustomed to your bridge, eating soft foods that have been cut into small pieces will be helpful.