A Step-By-Step Guide to Dental Bridges

A Step-By-Step Guide to Dental Bridges

Sep 01, 2021

Teeth loss is among the leading oral conditions affecting millions of individuals. Whether it’s from dental trauma, gum disease, old age, or cavities, you can benefit from restorative dentistry. Dental bridges are some of the best restorative treatments for missing teeth.

Dental bridges consist of artificial teeth that are placed on the empty socket and supported by dental crowns attached to healthy teeth at either side of the missing tooth. The artificial teeth are called pontics and are usually made from porcelain, alloy, gold, and metal-fused with ceramics, among other materials. The process of placing the dental bridges is relatively simple and usually very successful.

Types of Dental Bridges

Depending on the position and number of missing teeth, the dentist can recommend any of the following types of dental bridges:

  • Traditional Dental Bridge

These bridges consist of an artificial tooth that is placed on the empty socket and supported by dental crowns attached to adjacent teeth on both sides of the missing tooth. For this procedure, the patient must have healthy teeth on both sides of the missing tooth. For the dental crowns to fit properly, tooth shaping or trimming is necessary.

  • Cantilever Bridges

These bridges are very similar to traditional bridges. The artificial tooth is placed on the empty socket and supported by a dental crown attached to healthy teeth on one side of the missing tooth.

  • Maryland Bridges

For these bridges, the artificial teeth are supported by metal frameworks. These bridges are recommended if the patient doesn’t have healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth.

  • Implant-Supported Bridge

These types of bridges consist of small titanium posts that are embedded in the jawbone surgically. These bridges don’t require support from adjacent teeth. Since surgery is involved, the procedure is more complex, and you may need more time to recover. On the positive side, these bridges are more stable than alternative bridges.

Dental Bridges Treatment

  • Initial Consultation

If you’re considering dental bridges, you should visit your dentist for a dental examination. The dentist will assess your condition and advice on the best course of action. If you’re given the green light, you’ll be scheduled for the main procedure.

  • Preparation on the Bridge

The dentist commences by numbing the area around the missing tooth to prevent pain and keep you calm. The dentist then cleans the area to remove any bacteria and plaque.

The dentist then shapes the adjacent teeth to allow the crown to fit properly (for traditional and cantilever bridges). The dentist takes a scan and impressions of the teeth and sends them to the lab to create final prosthetics.

The dentist will select dental crowns that match the color of your natural teeth. A temporary bridge is cemented on the teeth to protect them from damage. You’ll be sent home and called into the bridge’s dental office when the permanent bridge is ready.

  • Final Cementation

Once the permanent bridge is complete, the dentist will remove the temporary bridge and try the permanent one. If the bridge fits perfectly, the dentist will cement it using stronger cement. They then remove out the excess cement and polishes the bridge to make it as natural as possible. You’ll be ready to go home.

Dental Bridges Benefits

By replacing missing teeth with dental bridges, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

  • Restored bite function.
  • Improved speech.
  • Keeps the adjacent teeth in their rightful position.
  • Prevents jawbone loss.
  • Long-lasting results.
  • Improved oral hygiene and health.

How Long Do Bridges Last?

If well-fitted and cared for, dental bridges can last for about 5 to 15 years. The material of the artificial tooth also determines the durability of the bridge. It’s essential to notify your dentist immediately if your bridges get damaged.

Caring For Your Bridges

Good oral hygiene is vital to keep the bridge and other oral structures in good condition. Use the following care tips:

  • Brush at least twice a day.
  • Floss regularly.
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
  • Avoid chewing hard foods such as nuts.
  • Schedule regular dental cleanings and exams.
  • Eat healthier and stay hydrated.
  • Notify your dentist immediately if your bridges get damaged.

Schedule an Appointment Today

For professional dental bridges procedures and treatment, contact South Hadley Dental Group to book your appointment.

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