Dental Bridges

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is an individually customised replacement for missing teeth or tooth. Bridges are the means to restore your healthy smile.A dental bridge is also referred to by dental health professionals as a fixed partial denture.Basically a bridge replaces the missing teeth with artificial teeth and fills their gap.Bridges are mostly fixed, which means that they are permanent and can be placed or removed by the dental specialist only. Removable bridge as the name suggests can be removed and cleaned. The artificial tooth of a bridge is called Pontic.A bridge is typically made of crowns on either ends of the missing tooth or teeth supporting the pontic (artificial tooth) and is cemented firmly in place onto the natural teeth.They are stable alternatives to a partial denture.

What materials are used in a bridge? How much does a bridge cost?

Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a mix of these materials and are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Your dentist can decide on the material best suited for you.Hence the cost depends on the materials used in the fabrication of the bridge.

Who is an ideal candidate for a dental bridge?

Dental bridges are one of the solutions offered if you have a missing tooth or teeth. Commonest causes of missing teeth are caries, tooth injury and gum disease and rarely due to a congenital condition.Ideal candidates need healthy teeth on either ends of the missing tooth or teeth.

When is a Dental bridge recommended?

  • A dentist may recommend a bridge if a tooth is decayed beyond repair that either a root canal treatment or a filling can save it or it is badly decayed that it comes out or is removed by the dentist or severely damaged in an accident. In such cases bridge is recommended to replace the missing tooth or teeth.If teeth are not replaced by a bridge,movement or shifting of the remaining teeth occurs to compensate for the space causing a shift of natural occlusion.Such occlusal changes may bring pain or discomfort while chewing.
  • Bone loss- As our teeth are embedded into the jaw bones, they need to be put to constant use like chewing or biting to stay healthy. Once the teeth are lost the jaw bone undergoes resorption and deterioration over time, resulting in facial changes.Increasing bone loss raises the costs and complications in replacing artificial teeth.
  • Deficiency of essential nutrients due to inability to eat a wide range of foods.
  • When you lack confidence about your smile while talking and smiling
  • Altered speech and phonetics.
  • Weakening of remaining teeth due to increased stress or wear on the existing teeth.
  • With proper care they can last for several years.

What are the different types of bridges?

  • A traditional bridge is the most popular kind.It is made of metal, porcelain fused to metal, or ceramics.It requires two crowns called abutments by dentists which connect with the artificial tooth or teeth.Once the teeth are prepared to recieve the crowns,they help secure the bridge in position. Traditional bridges can either be fixed or removable.
  • A cantilever bridge works with only one crown for anchoring. Procedure is simpler as only one tooth has to be prepared. It is a chosen option for people who don’t want to damage their healthy teeth or where there is only one tooth left next to the gap of missing teeth or tooth.Since the single crown can act as a lever, there is an increased risk of damage to the tooth and jaw.
  • Maryland bridges (Resin bonded bridge) preserve healthy teeth and are thus more conservative and less destructive than traditional or cantilever bridges.Metal or porcelain frameworks attached to the backs of the teeth on either side of the missing tooth/teeth provide the support necessary for the bridge.Winged supports bond to the existing natural teeth. As the anchorage is not great, they are less secure.They are mostly used as a replacement option of missing front teeth.
  • Implant-supported bridges.Here the dental implants act as anchors for the bridge.These kind of dental bridges are more expensive.They are invasive as implants have to be surgically placed inside the bone but are a very stable replacement option.

What are the steps involved in getting a Dental Bridge?

  • A traditional bridge is done by first preparing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth.Preparing means filing down a healthy tooth and or removing any decay if necessary .
  • The next step is to take an impression of the mouth which is sent to the dental laboratory for the fabrication to start.
  • A temporary bridge is cemented in place by the dentist to protect the prepared teeth.As the name implies it is only temporary in nature and so it is vital to come back for another visit to get the permanent bridge.
  • Once the permanent bridge is fabricated, an appointment is scheduled for the temporary bridge to be removed gently and the permanent bridge be fixed with stronger cement.

The process is similar for cantilever bridges, though only one tooth will be prepared to receive the crown.Tooth preparation is minimal for a Maryland bridge as no crowns are involved in the process.One may need to see a dentist for a minimum of two dental appointments.

For an implants supported bridge, the process typically begins with surgical placement of the dental implant. Afterwards, an impression of the mouth will be taken to fabricate a bridge that snugly fits over the implants.

What are my alternatives for a dental bridge?

Partial dentures, which are removable false teeth, are cheaper and Dental Implants are fixed but expensive alternatives for a dental bridge. Partial dentures need to be removed for cleaning regularly after every meal. A Dental Implant is surgically placed in the jaw and is fixed. Your dentist can help you figure out what the best choice is for your clinical condition.

Recovery after the Dental Bridge-

One can expect some soreness and tenderness after tooth preparation as well as after the placement of the bridge.Your mouth may take some time to get adjusted to the new bridge.. The gums may be also tender,swollen and bleed due to the pressure exerted on them.Though the initial soreness goes away after a few days in most people, the gums may take longer (at least a few weeks) to completely heal from the procedure.

The patient may be able to return to work as soon as they are well, usually the next day after the bridge placement.Surgical implant patients may take slightly longer to recover.

If anesthesia is given for the bridge placement or for surgical Implants placement,one is advised against driving after the procedure.

What care is involved for the dental bridge?

  • Brush your teeth with flouride toothpaste twice daily and floss as is recommended for the natural teeth.
  • Brushing and cleaning between your teeth helps remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria.Removal of plaque keeps the mouth healthy and prevents further decay.A bridge is likely to fail if the supporting teeth and the underlying bone is damaged by oral disease.
  • Always clean under the bridge.Certain Flossers, picks, or little brushes are advised for this purpose. Your dentist will suggest the ideal one for your bridge.
  • Visit your dentist twice yearly for examination and professional cleanings.
  • Eat a well balanced,healthy diet.
  • Use dental products that are scientifically proven to be safe and effective in keeping your mouth healthy.
  • Follow your dentist’s recommendations.

Complications of a dental bridge?

  • Failure.The bridge may fracture or move out of its position and hence fail to serve its purpose. A person may then need another bridge, implants, or other dental procedures.Follow your dentist aftercare instructions judiciously.
  • Pain or chewing problems. Some people struggle to adjust to chewing with a bridge, especially in the weeks soon after the procedure.If the chewing of food doesn’t feel comfortable you may schedule an appointment with your dentist to set it right.
  • Severe caries or gum disease may have caused infections to develop after the treatment with the bridge.
  • Tooth decay is a possibility if the tooth that supports the bridge continues to decay.This is more common in people with serious gum disease or very severe cavities in the teeth that need crowns.

What are the alternatives to dental bridges?

Partial dentures or Dental Implant are the two alternative options for Dental bridge that we can offer to patients with missing teeth.Cheaper, removable option is a partial denture, while dental implant may cost more and is fixed.

Why does my dentist suggest Dental implants instead of a Bridge?

When patients have satisfactory bone health,dentists recommend Implants as they are a permanent solution to natural teeth, improve facial appearance and involve no reduction of tooth structure. With good care they can last a life time.A dental lab creates new teeth based on the impression of your mouth. Oral surgeons place the dental implant in your jaw under local anesthesia. Over a period of a few weeks, the implants integrate with the jawbone and new artificial teeth are placed over them.Biggest advantage of implants is other teeth are not necessary for support.

Missing teeth can affect a person’s appearance, ability to eat certain foods, and quality of life. Dental bridges restore the occlusal bite and smile.If you have missing teeth and are looking for a solution,look no further.Schedule an appointment at Smiline dental hospitals,the best dental hospital for Crown and Bridges.

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