Are you confident about your smile? Do you often find yourself smiling sans showing your pearly whites because you have a blatantly grotesque missing tooth? If so then you need to see your dentist for a dental bridge. A dental bridge closes the gap where a missing tooth was once present by filling that void with a synthetic tooth. Like conventional bridges that connect one island to the next or one state to the other, dental bridges function the same way and they need support on both ends except for cantilever bridges. Fitting a bridge necessitates reshaping and remolding of the abutment teeth followed by installing crowns to hold the dental bridge securely in place.
Who are suitable candidates for dental bridges?
Anyone who has damaged teeth or has missing teeth can ask for dental bridges. Aesthetically, a missing tooth doesn’t make you look visually appealing and that’s a fact. Aside from appearance having teeth gaps can cause the rest of your teeth to change position and as a result it can subsequently change your bite. You see, installing dental bridges is more than just a mere cosmetic procedure; it is also an important aspect of dental health. Dental bridges are installed for a number of reasons. Below are some of the reasons why dentists perform dental bridge installation.
- Dentists perform dental bridges on patients to restore a normal bite to help facilitate mastication.
- Dental bridges are done on patients who want to maintain the contours of their faces.
- Some patients opt for dental bridges to enhance their smile.
- There are those who ask for dental bridges performed on them to reduce damage of remaining teeth because of a misaligned bite.
- Some patients are required to undergo dental bridge procedures in an attempt to restore their self-confidence after being injured or after incurring an accident.
What are the materials needed for dental bridges?
Dentists assert that creating dental bridges is a combination of both art and science. Simply because the bridgework that you are about to create has to function optimally to serve its purpose while at the same time it has to look as natural as possible to make it indistinguishable from your real teeth. To copy the look of a natural tooth’s enamel dentists usually use pure porcelain or porcelain fused with a metal base. Often times, dentists use composite resin as bridges that has more or less the same transparency as those of natural teeth.
What are the different types of dental bridges?
Dental bridges come in two forms, the removable ones and the fixed ones. Your predilection, the state of your remaining teeth and your health all help determine the type of dental bridge you will be using. Both the removal and the fixed dental bridges have its unique advantages. Albeit different, both types contribute to a healthy oral health (and bite). In addition, whether the dental bridge you opt for is removable or fixed, it will still look similar to your natural teeth.
Removable Dental Bridges
The term removable dental bridges can be used interchangeably with partial dentures. These removal bridges are not permanently attached to your remaining teeth instead they are merely fastened to your remaining teeth with the use of clasps to secure them in place. These dental bridges are very easy to clean and it cost relatively less compared to fixed bridges. Perhaps the only time your dentist would recommend you get a removable bridge is when the teeth on both sides of the gap are pliable and weak or if you have a lot of missing teeth. If you have several teeth that are candidates for dental reconstruction in the future, your dentist will normally suggest you get a removable bridge.
Fixed Dental Bridges
A fixed bridge on the other hand encompasses a replacement tooth that perfectly fits the gap in your teeth as well as permanent crowns that cap the abutment teeth on both ends of the space. Like your natural teeth, fixed bridges feel real and they function just like your normal teeth. Once dental bridges are put up, most of the patients barely even notice it after being on dental bridges for a while except maybe during cleaning. Fixed dental bridges offer superb strength and stability. And because this bridge is fixed between your teeth it cannot be removed. During cleaning you will need a specialized brush or a flossing tool to maintain its condition. A fixed dental bridge usually lasts up to ten years and when properly cared for can extend to another ten years with a maximum of twenty years. If your dentist evaluates that your dental bridge needs to be replaced he can unfasten it and replace it with another dental appliance.
How do you get a dental bridge?
Your dentist will normally schedule you with two appointments on different days. One is to create your dental bridge and the other is to fit it on you. During your initial appointment, the dentist will provide you with a local anesthesia so you won’t feel a thing during the entire process. This is also done to prepare the abutment teeth to receive dental appliance. After your dentist has reshaped the abutment teeth he will ask for a bite impression from you. This impression will be the mold for the structure of the bridge. On the first day you won’t get to wear your dental bridge yet instead you will be given a temporary bridge and crowns. This is necessary to protect the abutment teeth while your dentist makes the permanent fixed/removable dental bridge.
During your second dental appointment wherein your dental bridge has already been made, your dentist will fit and shape the bridge. If you are getting a fixed bridge your dentist will securely attach it to your abutment teeth. However, if you are getting a removal bridge, plastic and metal clasps are securely affixed to the abutment teeth to keep the dental bridge in place.
How do you care for dental bridges?
Your dental bridges have to be cleaned religiously and thoroughly. As a matter of fact, it even requires several additional tools to add to your regular toothbrush. If a patient has dental bridges installed he will need a dental floss threader. This tool allows you to sweep right under your dental bridge to keep those areas clean. It’s also helpful to have tiny, highly flexible brushes. It also helps to have water jet devices that help get rid of trapped food particles that may settle underneath the bridgework.
Your dentist can also recommend other oral care products that are bespoke for resin and porcelain dental bridges. It is important to take note that removable dental bridges need to be handled gently an example is a dental bridge made of porcelain. If you treat this roughly it can brittle and chip off. When cleaning removable dental bridges it is best if you set it aside carefully and avoid dropping it on hard surfaces. It is also worth mentioning that you should frequently clean your removable dental bridge. In fact you should clean it as often as you would clean your real teeth. You can use the same toothbrush and toothpaste you use when cleaning the remaining teeth.
Follow all the instructions that your dentist will provide you with during your meeting. If you experience any of the following do not hesitate to contact your dentist.
- Difficulty in chewing food
- Jaw pain
- Loosening of removable bridgework
- Difficulty speaking
- Rough spots on the areas surrounding the dental bridge