What Are Dental Bridges?
A bridge is a fixed removable denture made to replace any missing teeth. Bridges are installed and supported by remaining teeth, implants or a combination of both.
A bridge is crafted by capping teeth on either side of a missing tooth or teeth, or by an implant. Then a false tooth or teeth are placed between the crowns. The false tooth or teeth are attached to the teeth or the caps. The false tooth fills the empty space.
Traditionally bridges are made from porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or ceramics. If the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are healthy and do not need any root canal treatment then all a dentist may need to do is remove parts of the teeth making room for the false tooth.
A different type of bridge is the cantilever bridge. This is held by a crown on only one side of the space where the teeth are missing.
Bonded bridges are made with a metal framework consisting of “wings” on each side. The wings are bonded to your existing teeth and the false tooth is bonded to the metal framework. Bonded bridges are usually less expensive than traditional bridges. One of the biggest reasons is that the teeth next to the missing tooth are usually healthy and do not requrie much work beforehand.
Certain types of bonded bridges work better in certain areas as opposed to other kinds of options. For instance, resin-bonded bridges are not ideal where there is a lot of biting pressure. They tend not to stay cemented.
Getting a bridge usually requires visiting the dentist at least two times, but sometimes more than two visits are required. The dentist will cap the teeth that need to be capped and the dentist prepares the other teeth as needed. You are likely to receive an impression on this visit for sizing the false tooth. The bridge will be placed at later visits.
With proper care your bridge may last a long time. However, if you do not care for your teeth with proper oral hygiene your bridge may not last more than five to seven years. It is important to floss underneath the bridge. This will help prevent cavities around the capped, or crowned, teeth, one of the leading causes of a bridge failing.
Keep your mouth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily and floss once per day. Also, regular checkups will help prevent cavities, disease and bad breath. Also, to avoid damaging your bridge avoid chewing on hard foods such as ice.
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