Dental bridges are made up of artificial teeth that close spaces between teeth and dental crowns that are placed on the teeth closest to the gap. These oral prosthetics are typically used to close up gaps in a person’s smile due to missing teeth.Dental bridges are a less-invasive approach to replacing missing teeth than implants.…
What You Need to Know About Dental Bridges
If you are struggling with missing teeth, dental bridges may be the solution. You can get the smile you've wanted with this simple option. This article will cover what patients need to know about bridges and help improve their oral health.
What are dental bridges?
Bridges are prosthetic devices that fill in the gap created by your missing tooth or teeth. They work like natural teeth by supporting other neighboring teeth (anchoring) and aiding in chewing food (masticating).
Bridges function using two main components: crowns on either end of the bridge that anchor it into place and artificial tooth roots to hold it steady within its new home. Bridges can be made from gold, porcelain, or a combination of the two. They are sometimes filled with dental implants for additional support and stability.
Most people who suffer from missing teeth have few options to replace their lost tooth/teeth, but thanks to modern technology, there is now an excellent solution available in the form of bridges.
How do you know if you need a dental bridge?
Dental bridges are a good option for patients who have missed one or two teeth in a row. It can also be used to replace several consecutive teeth, but the likelihood of complications increases gradually as you try to fill more space with just one prosthetic device.
To determine if you are an ideal candidate for this treatment option, your dentist will assess the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone before deciding.
How are bridges made?
Dental bridgework begins with impressions (moldings) being taken of all adjacent teeth to capture their shape for prosthetics design purposes. This is done by placing an impression material in between each tooth that requires restoration. The dentist will then carefully study the molds to determine where they need to be placed and how they should fit together before any work begins on your bridge.
Your dentist will provide you with a temporary appliance until your completed bridge is ready for installation, usually about two weeks later. You may notice some discomfort during this time or when the bridge is first attached, but this should subside quickly.
How long do bridges last?
Dental bridges are designed to be permanent fixtures in your mouth, so they typically have a lifespan of around ten years or more before wearing down and requiring replacement. During regular dental visits, you will be evaluated for any signs that it needs replacing, including:
- Cracks or fractures along the bridge
- Teeth shifting position and causing misalignment with neighboring teeth
- Excessive wear on one side of a dental crown could cause it to break off. If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will be able to address them as soon as possible before they escalate into something more serious.
What are the benefits of dental bridges?
There are countless reasons why patients choose to undergo this treatment, but some of the most popular include:
- Allows teeth with multiple missing roots/crowns to be replaced in one session rather than several separate appointments. This reduces your overall cost and enables you to have a healthier oral environment.
- Minimizes future treatment and expense by maintaining the health of surrounding teeth so they won't require additional restoration work due to your missing tooth/teeth.
- Improves chewing ability, which is essential for eating certain foods such as steak or chicken that can be difficult to chew without teeth.
- Prevents facial sagging and tooth misalignment.
Bridges are a popular choice for patients who have lost one or more teeth due to injury, disease, or tooth decay. They can also replace several consecutive missing teeth if the health of surrounding teeth is strong enough. If possible, ensure that your dental bridge lasts; it will need to be examined and maintained regularly by your dentist.
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