Why a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic device used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. When a patient looses a tooth, several problems may arise if it is not replaced. Often the teeth surrounding the missing tooth will begin to shift to fill in the empty space. This can cause a misalignment of the bite, facial collapse, temporal mandibular joint problems, and even an increased risk for gum disease. A dental bridge can help to avoid all these problems. If you lose a tooth it is important that you consult your dentist to discuss treatments options.
Why are dental bridges performed?
The most common type of dental bridge involves replacing a single tooth by utilizing the two adjacent teeth as anchors for the bridge. These adjacent teeth, called “abutments”, are first filed down so that dental crowns can be placed over them. A bridge is then constructed that consists of three pieces; two crowns for the abutments and a replacement tooth, called a “pontic”, located between them. After the abutments are filed to down accommodate their crowns, a mold of the area is made so that a dental lab can create the bridge. Your dentist will often provide you with a temporary bridge while your permanent bridge is being constructed. Once the permanent bridge is ready it is permanently cemented into place. Bridges can be made of metal alloys or of porcelain for a more aesthetically appealing option.
Why are there different types of dental bridges?
In addition to the traditional bridge mentioned above, there are a few other types of dental bridges. A “cantilever” bridge is used when there are not two abutment teeth to anchor the bridge. Cantilever bridges are only supported from one side and are used when stresses on the pontic will be relatively small. A “Maryland” bridge is used when the tooth to be replaced is one of the front teeth. In a Maryland bridge, the pontic is supported by metal or resin wings that attach to the back of the abutment teeth. This is beneficial for replacing front teeth as it does not require filing down the abutment teeth. Finally, dental implants can be used as abutment teeth and anchors for a bridge when the missing tooth is not located between two healthy, strong teeth that can sustain the stresses placed on the bridge.
Why are dental bridges a good option for missing teeth?
A dental bridge can last for many years if properly cared for. Good oral hygiene that includes regular brushing and flossing will ensure the health of your bridge and the rest of your teeth. If you have a dental bridge it is even more important that you have regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can monitor the health of your bridge and surrounding teeth and make sure that it does not prematurely fail and need to be replaced. Overall, a dental bridge is a reliable treatment option for a missing tooth or teeth and can help to avoid major dental issues down the road.
Call Quail Creek Dental today to discuss your cosmetic dentistry options and if dental bridges are good options for replacing missing teeth at 417-720-4075.