Dental bridges might be the solution if you are self-conscious about your missing tooth or missing teeth. These dental devices are designed to replace one or more missing teeth, improving your appearance and oral health. Dental bridges fill the gaps left by missing teeth and help distribute the force of your bite evenly across all teeth, preventing other teeth from shifting and causing further damage.
A dental bridge is a permanent fixed dental restoration for missing teeth that enhance your smile and protects your remaining teeth from shifting. It essentially involves the permanent attachment of a false tooth (or teeth) to one or both teeth on either side of the gap
Dental bridges are made of various materials, such as porcelain, gold, or both. The choice of material affects the dental bridge’s cost, lifespan, stability, and aesthetics.
Porcelain fixed bridges offer natural-looking results and are popular for their aesthetic appeal. However, they’re more fragile than metal-based bridges and require careful maintenance to prevent chipping or cracking.
On the other hand, gold-based bridges offer exceptional durability and require less tooth removal during placement. They may not be as visually appealing as porcelain bridges but can be an excellent option if you have concerns about longevity.
Whatever material you choose for your dental bridge will affect its lifespan, stability, aesthetics, and cost.
These include traditional fixed-fixed bridges, cantilever bridges, implant-supported and resin-retained adhesive bridges (aka Maryland Bridges), each with unique benefits and potential drawbacks. Traditional bridges require adjacent teeth to remove their enamel, making them a more invasive option. Cantilever bridges may have a higher chance of complications like fractured teeth or loosened crowns since they rely on one abutment tooth for support. Maryland bridges do not require adjacent teeth to remove their enamel but are less durable than traditional bridges. Implant-supported bridges require two surgeries and can take several months to complete, but they are a good option when there is a higher chance of putting too much pressure on individual implants.
Here’s a table that summarises the types of dental bridges:
|Traditional Bridges||Strong enough to replace molars||Requires adjacent teeth to have enamel removed|
|Cantilever Bridges||More conservative alternative than traditional bridges||Higher risk of complications|
|Maryland Bridges||It doesn’t require removal of adjacent tooth enamel; recommended for front teeth replacement.||Not as durable as traditional bridges|
|Implant-Supported Bridges||Long-lasting solution for missing teeth; good option when too much pressure on individual implants||Requires two surgeries|
Dental bridges provide an aesthetic impact by restoring your smile and improving overall oral health. They offer a long-lasting solution for missing teeth and can be customized to fit your individual needs. In the next section, we’ll discuss the benefits of dental bridges in more detail.
There are three main types of dental bridges: traditional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and Maryland bonded bridges. Types of Dental Bridges
The advantages of dental bridges extend beyond aesthetic appeal. They allow you to chew properly, speak more clearly, and prevent further tooth loss.
In addition to these practical benefits, dental bridges also boost your self-confidence by restoring your smile to its former glory. With proper care and maintenance, dental bridges can last for many years. So why wait? Consider this as a viable dental care option before moving on to alternatives such as implants or dentures. Not only do they restore the appearance of your smile, but they also provide numerous advantages that go beyond aesthetics. Dental bridges are known for their longevity, functionality, and cost-effectiveness.
Dental bridge alternatives include implants, partial dentures, and space maintainers are available.
Implants can be a great choice if there’s enough foundation bone left to support them. They provide a long-lasting solution that mimics natural teeth without relying on adjacent teeth for support.
Partial dentures work well if gum and bone loss have occurred or several teeth are missing. They can be customised to match natural teeth and are removable for easy cleaning. Sometimes, space maintainers may be used to stop teeth tipping or close any gap before a suitable replacement is in place.
Moving forward with any alternative option will depend on individual circumstances and should always involve a discussion with your dentist.
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To get a dental bridge, you must prepare your abutment (surrounding) teeth for the prosthesis. This includes shaping the teeth and sending impressions to a dental laboratory for construction. Local anaesthetic is used during this process to ensure your comfort.
Once the unique appliance has been made, it’s time for fitting. The temporary bridge (if used) is removed, and the underlying teeth are cleaned before dental cement is used to fix the permanent bridge in place on the abutment teeth.
Before leaving, your dentist will provide aftercare instructions and cost estimation for potential complications that may arise with improper maintenance. Remember, regular checkups are essential to maintaining your new smile!
When caring for your new dental bridge, avoiding hard and sticky foods and excessive sugary or acidic food and drinks is essential. These foods can damage your bridge and the supporting teeth by causing tooth decay. This leads to complications down the line.
To ensure the longevity of your dental bridge, follow these cleaning tips:
Brush twice daily with an oral b electric toothbrush with a timer and a pressure sensor for at least two minutes each time.
Clean between your teeth with interdental brushes at least once a day.
Use fluoride toothpaste twice daily.
In addition to these hygiene practices, scheduling regular visits with your dentist and dental hygienist is essential. They will be able to monitor the condition of your bridge and provide replacement options if necessary.
With proper care, a dental bridge can last over ten years, giving you confidence in your smile’s function and aesthetic impact.
A: Dental bridges are a type of dental restoration that is used to replace missing teeth or a single tooth. They are designed to bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth and are usually made up of a false tooth (or teeth) which is anchored to the natural teeth on either side of the gap or on a dental implant.
A: There are several different types of dental bridges available, including traditional dental bridges, cantilever dental bridges, Maryland dental bridges, and resin-bonded bridges. Each type of bridge uses a different method to hold the bridge in place and may be chosen based on factors such as the number of teeth needing to be replaced, the condition of the teeth and gums, and the patient’s dental health and personal preference.
A: Dental bridges have many benefits, both cosmetic and functional. They can improve the appearance of a smile by filling in gaps and replacing missing teeth, and can also help to restore the natural shape and contour of the mouth. They can also help improve chewing and speaking ability and maintain the structure and integrity of the remaining teeth.
A: The cost of dental bridges can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the type of bridge chosen, the number of teeth needing to be replaced, and the location of the dental practice. On average, conventional bridges can range from £1000 to £1,500 per tooth.
A: Caring for a dental bridge is similar to caring for natural teeth. Patients should brush and floss regularly to maintain good oral hygiene and schedule regular checkups with their dentist to ensure the bridge is in good condition. Patients should also avoid eating hard or crunchy foods that may damage the bridge and avoid using their teeth to open packages or bite into tough foods.
A: Dental bridges can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending on factors such as proper oral hygiene, the type of bridge used, and any other underlying dental or medical conditions. Patients should maintain regular dental checkups to ensure their bridge is functioning properly and to address any issues that may arise.
A: Yes, patients can generally eat normally with a dental bridge. However, patients should avoid eating hard or crunchy foods that may damage the bridge, and may also need to avoid certain foods that are difficult to chew or bite into, depending on the type of bridge used.
A: Many dental insurance plans do cover some or all of the cost of dental bridges. However, coverage can vary depending on the specific plan, and patients should check with their insurance provider to determine the exact coverage and any associated costs.
A: Yes, dental bridges can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. The type of bridge used may vary depending on the number of teeth needing to be replaced and the condition of the surrounding teeth and gums.
A: Dental bridges are typically attached to the natural teeth on either side of the gap using a special dental adhesive that bonds the bridge to the teeth. In some cases, dental implants may also be used to anchor the bridge in place and provide additional stability.
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