An In-Depth Guide to Dental Bridges

When you’re missing teeth, you’re likely to experience chewing and speaking difficulties. If not addressed promptly, missing teeth can shift the adjacent teeth, cause jawbone resorption, and facial sagging, among other secondary issues. If you are missing teeth, you have several replacement options to consider. Dental Implants, dentures, and Dental bridges are the primary restorative treatments for missing teeth. Keep reading to learn more about dental bridges and how they can restore your smile and oral function.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Bridges?

You can use a dental bridge to replace the extracted tooth and:

  • Improve your oral appearance and smile
  • Enhance your bite function
  • Restore your speech and pronunciation
  • Maintain your facial muscles and prevent premature aging, wrinkles, and facial sagging
  • Re-adjust your bite
  • Prevent the remaining natural teeth from shifting out of position
  • Improves your oral hygiene and health

Types of Dental Bridges

Depending on your needs, budget, and specific condition, your dentist might recommend using any of the following types of bridges:

  • Traditional dental bridges –

    Are the most common type of bridge. It consists of the artificial tooth or teeth held by dental crowns attached to two anchor teeth. The anchor teeth are healthy teeth on both sides of the lost tooth.

  • Cantilever dental bridges –

    These are very similar to traditional bridges. The only difference is that one crown holds the bridge attached to a healthy tooth on one side of the missing tooth. The dentist recommends this bridge if a patient only has healthy teeth on one side of the missing tooth.

  • Maryland dental bridges –

    Like traditional bridges, Maryland bridges hold two abutment teeth on either side of the missing tooth. However, they don’t use crowns. Instead, frameworks of metal or porcelain support them.

  • Implant-Supported Bridges –

    if you’re missing healthy teeth on both sides of the missing tooth or teeth, an implant-supported bridge is an ideal option. The procedure involves two surgical interventions and can take up to five months. Dental implants support the bridge.

Dental Bridges Procedure

Getting a dental bridge usually takes about two visits. Traditional bridges are the most commonly used bridges. The procedure for these typically entails:

  • The dentist begins by numbing the area around the lost tooth to keep you comfortable.
  • Next, they shave down the abutment or anchor teeth enamels to allow the crowns to fit correctly.
  • The dentist uses a putty material to take impressions of the teeth as a model for making the bridge, pontic, and crowns. The dentist installs a temporary bridge to protect the exposed gums and teeth while the bridge is being created.
  • Once the customized bridge is ready, they remove the temporary bridge. Next, the dentist tests the newly created bridge and adjusts if necessary.
  • Lastly, the dentist installs the permanent bridge. You might need multiple visits to check the fitting of the bridge.

How Long do Dental Bridges Last?

With proper installation and good oral hygiene and habits, dental bridges can last for 20 years or more. To care for your bridge and mouth:

  • Brush at least twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • Use the right dental products
  • Avoid sugary and acidic things. Ensure you brush or rinse your mouth afterward if you must take them
  • Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods as they can cause the bridge to break, crack, or fall out
  • Schedule routine dental assessments and cleanings
  • Visit a dental office immediately if your bridge develops any issues, regardless of how minor it is

Possible Complications of Dental Bridges

While rare, complications can occur after getting a dental bridge. These can include:

  • Bridge failure. A bridge can slip out of place or break when poorly installed or damaged.
  • Difficulty chewing and talking. Immediately after getting a bridge, you might experience difficulty chewing and speaking correctly. However, the problem is only temporary and it will go away after some time. If the bite doesn’t change, you should consult your dentist for an adjustment.
  • Infection. After treatment, some patients may develop infections. Make sure you maintain excellent dental hygiene to prevent infections.
  • Tooth decay. The risk of a bridge is that there’s a chance of tooth decay developing under the bridge. Ensure you maintain excellent oral hygiene to prevent plaque and bacteria buildup, which leads to cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Final Verdict

The key to having successful dental bridge treatment is to get the treatment from a qualified and professional dentist in Westport, CT. Visit our dental clinic: Advanced Dental of Westport, CT.

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