A Guide to Dental Bridges
Losing one or more teeth can make you feel uncomfortable smiling and may adversely affect the functionality and appearance of your smile. Missing teeth can cause the following problems:
change in bite
Temporomandibular joint disorder
Greater chance of tooth decay
Increased risk for periodontal disease
Dental bridges, like partial dentures and implants, offer a good solution for missing teeth. A dental bridge can improve your smile, and speech and help you eat more effectively.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth used to fill the gap between one or more missing teeth. Two crowns on either side anchor it in place, which is why dental care professionals call it a bridge. The dentist attaches these crowns to the existing teeth or implants to form a bridge, which should function and look like natural teeth.
Besides enhancing smile aesthetics and facial shape, a dental bridge can have oral health implications. It would be best if you replace the missing teeth as soon as possible. Otherwise, food that gathers in the gap may attract bacteria that cause tooth decay. Filling the gap will make it easier to clean your teeth.
Types of Dental Bridges
Each type of dental bridge plays a vital role in restructuring teeth. The main types of bridges are:
Traditional Dental Bridge
Traditional bridges involve one or more false teeth held in place by crowns attached to the two abutment teeth. A traditional bridge would fill the gaped area between natural teeth.
Cantilever Dental Bridge
Dentists fix cantilever bridges to just one abutment tooth instead of two, as with traditional bridges. So, this type of bridge requires only one natural tooth next to the gap.
Maryland Dental Bridge
Like traditional bridges, Maryland bridges require the support of two natural teeth on either side. However, they do not use crowns, often requiring a significant reduction of abutment teeth. Instead, the dentist slightly reduces the backs of the supporting teeth and bonds the wings of the dental bridge to this area.
Implant-supported Dental Bridge
An implant-supported bridge is an excellent solution when missing several neighboring teeth. First, your dentist will shape the areas in your gum line where the implants will go. The next step is placing the implants before applying the dental bridge. The procedure typically takes two surgeries. So, full recovery can take several months.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are not for everyone. Some of the things that make people eligible candidates include:
Having good oral health
Missing one or more teeth
Having healthy adjacent teeth
Having a solid bone structure
A dental bridge can last for up to ten years with proper care. When you get a dental bridge, ensure that you maintain excellent oral hygiene and schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups. It would be best to make dietary changes to keep your bridge in good shape.
Avoid foods like nuts, candy and hard snacks, and popcorn. Consult your dentist about the best aftercare routine and what you can and cannot eat after your procedure.
For more on dental bridges, visit Attuned Dental Care at our Milpitas, California office. Call 408-263-3090 to schedule an appointment today.
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