A fixed and permanent restoration that replaces missing teeth is called a dental bridge. A dental bridge takes the look of a natural tooth in terms of shape and function and is custom-made for each patient. A full mouth rehabilitation is when you need multiple bridges for your mouth; in the case of many teeth missing dentures can be recommended. Our team at Smiles of Groton will help you choose the best dental bridge for your mouth.
When is a Dental Bridge Necessary?
A dental bridge is necessary when a patient has a missing tooth, or several teeth, lost due to injury, failed root canal, or even tooth decay. If you have implants or existing dental crowns on abutment teeth a dentist will probably recommend a dental bridge. The abutment teeth are the teeth that support dental bridges on the sides.
Types of Dental Bridges
Traditional bridges are the most popular type of bridges and are made of porcelain fused metal, ceramic, or all types of metal. They contain a pontic tooth that is held by a crown on each side. In undertaking this procedure, the dentist files, and shapes two teeth next to the pontic to ensure that the crowns fit well. These types of bridges are strong and durable if taken care of. These types of bridges are good for restoring molars and premolars.
Cantilever bridges are made of porcelain fused to metal, but next to it there must be one natural tooth. The dental crown or an artificial tooth is on either side of the unhealthy tooth. These bridges restore front teeth and are not as strong as traditional bridges.
Maryland bridges, or adhesive bridges, have a pontic supported by a metal outline. They are made of porcelain and have wings for stability. The adhesive bridges are used for restoration of incisors, and are not as strong as cantilever bridges.
Finally, there are implant-supported bridges that restore teeth, especially three missing teeth in a row. They receive their support from dental implants.
Dental Bridge Procedure
Local anesthetic is given during the first visit and here the dentist shapes and files the abutment teeth just like a crown. Tooth structure and enamel are removed to create space for additional teeth and impressions are then made and sent to the dental laboratory to customize your bridge. Then the dentist will place a permanent bridge over the shaped teeth and the gap. The second visit entails removal of the temporary bridge, and cleaning of the tooth will be done. In case of pain, local anesthesia is administered. X-rays will be taken to ensure fitting of the bridge and finally, it will be bonded using dental cement.
Taking Care of Dental Bridges
Taking care of your dental bridge involves simple oral hygiene, just as you would with your natural teeth or a dental crown. The pontic tooth requires extra care since it is more difficult to clean that area and plaque can form. Therefore, it is vital to floss underneath the teeth, brush regularly and use mouth wash. It is also essential to observe what you eat. Avoid chewy foods like candy, hard foods, and ice cubes. In case of pain, taking over-counter medication is recommended.
Visit us at Smiles of Groton. If you would like to learn more about dental bridges, you can reach us at (351) 251-1230.