Dental Bridges

What are dental bridges?


Dental bridges are comprised of two or more crowns and one or more false teeth, called pontics, to fill in gaps from missing teeth. Bridges help keep natural teeth from moving, aid in the chewing of food, improve smiles and help maintain the natural shape of the face.

There are three types of bridges available: Maryland bonded, traditional and cantilever. To create a bridge, multiple dental visits may be necessary depending on the size of the gap. A temporary bridge reduces pain and discomfort associated with eating and protects exposed gums and teeth until a permanent bridge is set into place.

What does a dental bridge correct?

Dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges contain artificial teeth that are held in place by cement and attach to the surrounding teeth using a crown. The crown is securely attached to the surrounding teeth so the bridge does not fall out.

Missing teeth cause problems with chewing, speaking, shifting of other teeth and teeth misalignment. The dental bridge can prevent all these problems. Two visits to the dentist are needed to complete a bridge. During the first visit, the dentist shapes the surrounding teeth and prepares for the bridge, and a mold is made of the teeth for a custom fit. The dentist then places a temporary bridge in the mouth until the second appointment when the permanent bridge is placed on the teeth. The dentist adjusts and cements the final bridge before the patient leaves the second appointment.

What are the advantages of a tooth implant over a bridge?

 Advantages of tooth implants over dental bridges include increased longevity and lower risk of damage to nearby healthy teeth, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Dental implants are the closest restorative option to natural teeth in terms of function, appearance and feel.

A dental bridge necessitates grinding down teeth near the missing tooth so they can support the bridge, but an implant allows for the preservation of healthy teeth. Furthermore, most tooth-supported dental bridges have a life span of five to seven years and eventually require replacement, while tooth implants can last for life if they are well-implanted and cared for properly.

Patients with tooth implants do not have to worry as much about their dental work as those who opt for other forms of restorative procedures because there is usually no chance of implants falling out or becoming loose in the middle of everyday activities, such as eating and laughing.

Whereas pronouncing certain words can be difficult with removable dentures, dental implants allow patients to speak naturally. Eating with implants also feels more natural than eating with removable dental appliances. A benefit to pulling and replacing an unhealthy tooth with an implant is that there is no chance of the implant getting cavities, although it is still important to have the tooth cleaned at the dentist’s office on a regular basis.

How long after a tooth extraction can you get a bridge or implant?

The amount of time to wait after a tooth extraction before you can get a bridge or implant is determined by factors such as the position of the extracted tooth and the condition of the supporting bone. When these considerations are not observed, the implant may not be successful.

If the extracted tooth is shallow-rooted premolar, an incisor or a canine, and it has no major infection, an immediate implant placement can be performed. If the extracted tooth is a molar with a healthy supporting bone, an immediate-delayed implant placement procedure (about two weeks to three months) can be performed. If the extracted tooth has a bone loss from disease in the gum, then a delayed or late implant (three months or more after tooth extraction) can be conducted.

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