An Overview of Dental Bridges to Replace Missing Teeth

Jul 01, 2022

Tooth loss can happen due to sports injuries, car accidents, tooth decay, gum disease, etc. Unfortunately, losing teeth can affect your bite function, making it harder to eat and speak normally. Other side effects include jawbone deterioration and shifting of the adjacent teeth. Missing teeth can negatively affect your facial appearance, hurting self-esteem and social skills.

When missing teeth, you have several options to restore your smile. Dental bridges offer a relatively affordable and convenient way to replace missing teeth. It’s a great alternative to dental implants if you don’t like the idea of a surgical procedure. Or perhaps you don’t like the inconvenience of using dentures. Teeth bridges function, look and feel like your natural teeth for a natural, functional, and beautiful smile.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A tooth bridge is a tooth-colored dental prosthetic used to replace missing teeth. A single bridge can replace one to three or more missing teeth. A bridge looks and functions more like a natural tooth, making it easier to eat and speak normally. Contact our dentist in Rifle, CO, for dental bridges near you.

Types of Dental Bridges

There are four main types of dental bridges, namely:

Traditional bridges. They are the most common tooth bridges. The false teeth are supported by dental crowns attached to anchor teeth on both sides of the gap. The anchor teeth must be trimmed down to allow the crowns to fit perfectly.

Cantilever bridges. They are very similar to traditional bridges. The only difference is that the artificial teeth are supported by a dental crown attached to one anchor tooth. This bridge is recommended if a patient only has healthy teeth on one side of the gap. Unfortunately, this bridge can cause too much strain on the anchor tooth, leading to damage.

Implant-supported bridges. Instead of dental crowns, this bridge is supported by a dental implant placed in the jawbone. It provides a very strong, stable, and durable restoration. On the downside, the bridge requires a surgical procedure, and it’s relatively more costly than other bridges.

Maryland bridges. Instead of dental crowns or implants, this bridge is supported by a framework of metal or porcelain bonded to healthy existing teeth. It’s the least used type of bridge.

Dental Bridge Procedure

The first step to getting a dental bridge is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. If your candidacy for a dental bridge is established, the dentist will discuss further details and schedule you accordingly. Below is a typical procedure for a traditional bridge.

You’ll be numbed during the first appointment to keep you relaxed and painless throughout the procedure. Next, the dentist will prepare the anchor teeth by shaving a small portion of the enamel. Next, molds of the teeth are made and sent to a dental lab to create the bridge. The dentist will prepare and place a temporary bridge to protect the anchor teeth as you wait for the permanent bridge.

During the next appointment, they remove the temporary bridge. The dentist will check the fit of the customized bridge and adjust it if necessary. The dentist will cement it with strong cement if it’s a perfect fit.

Dental Bridge Aftercare

After a dental bridge procedure, you might experience minor side effects like sensitivity and gum soreness. Until the area heals completely, stick to a liquid and soft food diet. Avoid hard, sticky, crunchy, hot, cold, and acidic items as they can irritate or disturb the treated area.

Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential to maintain excellent oral health and extend the lifespan of your bridges. Your bridge should last for 10 – 15 years or more.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Among other benefits, a dental bridge:

  • Improves your oral and facial appearance
  • Restores your bite and speech function
  • It prevents the adjacent teeth from shifting out of position
  • Promotes healthy oral health
  • Improves your self-confidence and overall quality of life
  • Prevents jawbone deterioration

Disadvantages of a Dental Bridges

  • Traditional and cantilever bridges require tooth shaving, making the anchor susceptible to damage.
  • Bridges aren’t as sturdy and long-lasting as dental implants
  • There’s a risk of developing gum disease or decay near the bridge
  • Bridges don’t promote jawbone growth

Schedule an Appointment Today

Do you need more information about dental bridges or general dentistry? Contact Riffle Dental Care to book your appointment.

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