What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are one of several options that are used to replace a missing tooth. They bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge consist of a false tooth that is suspended above the gap and supported, like a bridge, by a crown on either side.
There are several forms of bridges that are available. The best one for you will depend on the location and number of missing teeth.
How do teeth go missing?
It's common to lose teeth in a number of ways. Some people are missing an adult tooth genetically, and find that nothing grows in after they lose their baby teeth. Others will lose their teeth in a car accident or during activities like biking or sports. Some diseases will increase your risk of losing teeth, while others will lose them with age due to poor oral health or bad genes.
What are the advantages of a dental bridge?
Dental bridges are a good choice for many people who are looking to fix a missing tooth. Having all your teeth can restore your smile and your confidence. They provide the structure needed to keep other teeth from moving out of place and to keep your face shape the same as it has been. Unlike other options like partials, a bridge is designed to restore your bite in a way that distributes tooth pressure.
What types of dental bridges exist?
There are three main types of dental bridges. Traditional bridges consist of a crown on either side of the missing tooth or teeth. The healthy teeth on either side of the gap are filed down and covered by the anchors of the bridge. A cantilevered bridge has an anchor mainly on one side and are created for people who don't have strong anchor teeth on both sides. A Marilyn bonded bridge consists of resin teeth and a metal framework. The teeth slip over your existing teeth and metal wings bond to them.
What happens when you get a bridge?
Bridges are typically done in a series of visits. First, your teeth are cast to help your dentist create crowns that will duplicate your natural bite. Your anchor teeth will then be filed down to make room for the crowns to fit over the top. A second set of impressions will help the dentist to create a custom fit for the inside of the crowns. The bridge will be fitted on your next visit, and your bite perfected.
How long do bridges last?
Bridges typically last somewhere between five and fifteen years. Oral hygiene will be the deciding factor as to how long your bridge will last.
What adjustments will you need to make?
You may need to work up to full chewing pressure on your bridge. Start with soft foods and work up as you go. Also, watch for constant headaches and other similar issues, as they can be a sign that your new teeth aren't evenly distributing pressure. A dentist can file the high points down if this is the case. Speak with your dentist about the foods that they recommend you to avoid. Finally, you may need to make more frequent visits to the dentist to check on the state of your dental bridge.
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