All You Need To Know About Dental Bridges

Posted on: 20 November 2015

Missing teeth have a negative effect on the appearance of your smile. Furthermore, missing teeth affect your bite and can cause speech impediments, shifting teeth, tooth decay and periodontal disease. One of the effective ways of replacing missing teeth is through dental bridges. Read on to understand what dental bridges are, how they are installed and how to care for them.

Dental Bridge Basics

A dental bridge consists of two tooth caps for both sides of your gap, with the gap being filled by an artificial tooth. The two tooth caps on each side of the artificial tooth serve as anchors and are called abutment teeth. The artificial tooth is called a pontic. Pontics are designed from materials such as porcelain, gold and alloys.

Types Of Dental Bridges

The main kinds of dental bridges are traditional, cantilever and resin bridges.  The traditional bridge is made of porcelain and fused with ceramics or metal. Dentists use cantilever bridges in special cases like when you have adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth/teeth. Resin bridges consist of false teeth that are made of plastic and which are anchored in place by metal wings.

Procedure For Getting A Dental Bridge

Your dentist will perform x-rays and take preoperative photographs to plan the right bridge for you. Your bridge may be three units or more depending on how many teeth you are missing. Three units consist of two tooth caps or abutment teeth and one false tooth (pontic) for filling the gap.

After your dentist has determined that a dental bridge is right for you, he/she will begin preparing abutment teeth. A part of your enamel will be removed to make room for the abutment teeth. Your dentist will make impressions of your teeth to help in the manufacture of abutment teeth and pontics. You will be given a temporary bridge to provide protection to your gums and teeth.

During your next visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and a permanent bridge cemented on your prepared tooth.

Caring For A Dental Bridge

Dental bridges lose their support because of periodontal disease and tooth decay. To increase the longevity of your dental bridges, you should maintain proper oral health. Your dentist will instruct you to brush twice a day with fluoride tooth paste. Your dentist may also give you a special floss threader for flossing the spaces between the pontic, gum tissue and surrounding teeth. Proper hygiene will also strengthen your teeth and gums. You should also avoid chewing hard foods like ice or candy. If you observe proper dental hygiene, your bridges could last for over 15 years.

For more information about getting a dental bridge for your missing tooth, contact a local dental clinic. 

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