ADULTS

Dental Bridges - Types and the Procedure

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What is a Dental Bridge?

When tooth loss occurs, your dentist may recommend the placement of a tooth bridge, or dental bridge. When placing a bridge, the teeth on both sides of the space are covered with crowns (caps), and an artificial tooth (pontic) is attached to the crowns.

Few incidents have greater impact on dental health and personal appearance than tooth loss. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can drift out of position, which can lead to a change in the bite, the loss of additional teeth, decay and gum disease.

Types of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges have many advantages for people who are missing teeth as a result of dental disease, fractures or injury. If you maintain good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly, a fixed dental bridge can last for approximately 10 years.

A dental bridge consists of dental crowns for the teeth anchoring either side of the bridge, and a false tooth (or teeth) between them. There are three main types of bridges:

  • Traditional Bridge: This is the most common type, and it is usually made of ceramics or porcelain fused to metal.

  • Cantilever Bridge: this style of bridge is used to accommodate situations where there are teeth side of the gap where the bridge is.

  • Maryland Bonded Bridge: This type of bridge consists of a porcelain tooth (or teeth) in a metal framework, with wings to attach it to existing teeth.

No matter what type of bridge you have, the success of a dental bridge depends in part on keeping the remaining surrounding teeth healthy, and that’s where a regular oral care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing comes in. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles or an interdental cleaner to clean around a bridge effectively, and choose floss that is designed to clean around bridges.

Dental Bridges Procedure

Initially, the dentist prepares teeth on each side of the space to receive crowns and makes an impression of the entire area. Then, the dentist fits a temporary or transitional bridge made out of plastic or metal. In a subsequent visit, the dentist will remove the temporary bridge then place, adjust and cement the fixed bridge.