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Dental Bridge: Everything You Need To Know

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Dental Bridge (1)

A missing tooth can be a source of both cosmetic concerns and functional problems. It can affect your speech, make chewing difficult, and even impact your facial structure. Dental bridges offer a reliable and long-lasting solution to replace missing teeth. Discover dental bridges: types, procedures, costs, and more at our trusted dental clinic with experienced Dentists in San Antonio.

Dental Bridge

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about dental bridges, including:

  • What are dental bridges?
  • Types of dental bridges
  • Benefits of getting a dental bridge
  • Who is a good candidate for a dental bridge?
  • The dental bridge procedure
  • Recovery after getting a dental bridge
  • Caring for your dental bridge
  • Cost of dental bridges
  • Advantages and disadvantages of dental bridges

What Are Dental Bridges?

A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth. It bridges the gap created by the missing tooth/teeth. The bridge comprises artificial teeth (pontics) held in place by crowns cemented onto the surrounding healthy teeth. These surrounding teeth are called abutment teeth.

Dental bridges are popular for people with missing teeth because they offer several advantages over other solutions, like dentures. Bridges are more stable and comfortable, improving your smile’s aesthetics and functionality.

Types of Dental Bridges

Several types of dental bridges are available, each with advantages and considerations. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types:

Traditional fixed bridge

This is the most common type of bridge. It consists of a crown on each abutment tooth on either side of the gap, with pontics in between to replace the missing teeth. The crowns and pontics are typically made of porcelain fused to metal for strength and aesthetics.

Cantilever bridge

This bridge is used when healthy teeth are on only one side of the gap. A cantilever bridge uses one or two abutment teeth to support the pontic(s). While less common than traditional bridges, cantilever bridges can be a good option in certain situations.

Maryland bonded bridge

This bridge uses metal wings bonded to the backside of the abutment teeth instead of crowns. Maryland bonded bridges are a conservative option requiring minimal abutment teeth preparation. However, they may be weaker than traditional bridges and are more prone to chipping or breaking.

Implant-supported bridges

These bridges use dental implants instead of crowns on abutment teeth for support. Dental implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone and act as artificial tooth roots. Implant-supported bridges offer superior stability and durability compared to traditional bridges.

Benefits of Getting a Dental Bridge

There are many advantages to getting a dental bridge, including:

  • Improved aesthetics: Bridges restore the natural look of your smile by filling in the gaps created by missing teeth.
  • Enhanced speech: Missing teeth can impact your speech, making it difficult to pronounce certain sounds. Bridges can improve your speech by providing support for your tongue and lips.
  • Better chewing: Missing teeth can make chewing difficult and uncomfortable. Bridges restore your ability to chew correctly, allowing you to enjoy a wider variety of foods.
  • Prevents teeth shifting: When you have missing teeth, the surrounding teeth can shift out of place to fill the gap. This can lead to bite problems and other dental issues. Bridges prevent teeth from shifting, maintaining proper alignment.
  • Boosts confidence: Missing teeth can negatively impact your self-confidence. Bridges can restore your smile and improve your overall confidence.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges are a good option for individuals with one or more missing teeth and healthy teeth on either side of the gap to support the bridge. You should also have healthy gums and sufficient jawbone density to support the bridge.

Dentures or dental implants may be more suitable if multiple missing teeth are spread throughout your mouth. Your dentist will be able to assess your situation and recommend the best course of treatment.

The Dental Bridge Procedure

Getting a dental bridge typically involves multiple appointments. Here’s a general overview of the process:

Consultation

During the initial consultation, your dentist will discuss your concerns and examine your mouth. They will take X-rays and impressions of your teeth to determine if a bridge is the right option for you.

Tooth preparation

At the next appointment, your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth by removing a small amount of enamel to make room for the crowns.

Impression and temporary bridge

Impressions of your prepared teeth and the opposing teeth will be taken to create a custom bridge. You will be fitted with a temporary bridge to wear while the permanent bridge is being fabricated.

Placing the permanent bridge

Once the permanent bridge is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge and carefully place the permanent bridge. They will check the fit and make any necessary adjustments.

Conclusion 

Dental bridges are a versatile and effective solution for replacing missing teeth. They offer numerous benefits, including improved aesthetics, better speech and chewing, and a confidence boost. A dental bridge could be the right option if you have missing teeth and healthy surrounding teeth. Consult your dentist to discuss your candidacy and explore if a bridge can restore your smile and oral health.