A missing tooth affects not only your smile but also your oral health and comfort. It causes discomfort while talking and chewing. But don’t worry. If you’ve lost any of your teeth, the gap can easily be bridged with dental bridges. A dental bridge works like a false tooth, which is supported by the teeth on either side of the missing tooth.
Here are 4 common questions that patients ask before getting dental bridges.
Why Should I Get Dental Bridges?
When you lose one tooth, the teeth nearby start shifting into the empty space. This affects your bite and also places a lot of stress on your jaw joints and the rest of your teeth.
The shifted teeth also become difficult to clean, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Missing teeth cause the jaw bone to shrink as well. If this happens, the way your jawbone supports your cheeks and lips changes, making your face appear older over time.
Dental bridges prevent all this by filling the gap left by the missing tooth.
How Many Types of Dental Bridges are Available?
Most dentists use these three types of dental bridges for replacing missing teeth.
Traditional Dental Bridges
For traditional bridges, a crown is created for the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth, with a pontic—an artificial tooth—in between. They are the most common type of dental bridges and are made from porcelain fused with either ceramic or metal.
Cantilever Dental bridges
This type of bridge is used when adjacent teeth are present only on one side of the missing tooth. Cantilever bridges are not very common. They exert pressure on other teeth, damaging them, especially the teeth at the back of the mouth.
Maryland Bonded Dental Bridges
Also known as resin-bonded bridges, they’re made of plastic gums and teeth supported by porcelain or metal framework. The porcelain or metal wings are bonded with your existing teeth.
What is the Procedure?
Firstly, the dentist will recontour the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth by grinding them to remove some of the enamel. This will make room for crowns to be placed on the existing teeth.
Next, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth for making the bridge, crowns and pontics, and send it to the dental lab. For the time being, you’ll have to wear temporary bridges to protect your exposed gums and teeth.
On your second visit, the dentist will fit the new metal or porcelain bridge over your teeth and adjust it accordingly. If you’re getting fixed bridges, the dentist will cement the bridges to bond them permanently.
How Long Do Bridges Last?
Dental bridges last between 5–15 years and maybe even longer. With regular dental checkups and proper oral hygiene, a fixed bridge can easily last for more than 10 years.
Take the first step toward restoring your comfort and smile with the help of some of the best dentists in Bethesda, MD! Visit Bethesda Dental Health today to discuss which type of dental bridge is right for you. Give us a call at (301) 654-1887 to book your appointment.