Dental BridgesAll of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing, and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Dental bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance with a non-invasive procedure.
WHAT IS A DENTAL BRIDGE?
A dental bridge is a device used to replace missing teeth. They are typically cemented to the natural teeth on either side of the space left by a missing tooth. A pontic, or false tooth, replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.
Traditional or conventional bridges
are the most common among dental bridge types and include a crown on each side of the appliance. One or more pontics or false teeth rest in the center of the traditional bridge, between the two crowns.
include wings made of porcelain or metal that are bonded to your teeth to fix the dental bridge into place. The false teeth of a Maryland bridge are made from porcelain, porcelain-over-metal or resin.
Why do I need A BRIDGE?
Maintenance of your facial structure:
Gaps from lost teeth can cause your face to take on a sunken appearance. A bridge fills the gaps to provide support to the soft tissues of the face.
Proper distribution of bite force:
When you chew, your teeth should share the bite force needed to masticate the food. However, when a tooth is lost, some of your teeth may take on a heavier force load. A bridge absorbs some of the bite force for a more even distribution of the pressure of your teeth.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO GET A DENTAL BRIDGE?
1. The procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, Dr. Brazdo will prepare the teeth on either side of the space for crowns by removing a portion of the enamel. Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing teeth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be fabricated. You will leave the office with a temporary bridge in place.
2. Dental bridges on back teeth typically have a metal base with porcelain fused to the outside for a realistic appearance. Dental bridges on front teeth are typically made from all porcelain. If your dental bridge is made with metal, Dr. Brazdo will try the metal portion in before the porcelain is added. This will ensure the fit is proper before the porcelain is added. If your dental bridge is made of all porcelain this step will be skipped.
3. The final step is to permanently cement the bridge.
How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.
Plaque and bacteria will not cause the bridge itself to decay, but they will affect your gums and natural teeth. If the natural teeth supporting the bridge are lost, the appliance cannot remain in place.
In addition to brushing the bridge and the gums around it, it is important to floss the area between the bridge and the gums. Bacteria and food particles can become trapped there to incite gum disease. In order to floss this area, the floss must be threaded between the appliance and the gums and then moved back and forth.
If you find it cumbersome to clean this area using traditional thread floss, consider an oral irrigator. The concentrated stream of water from the device can be directed along the gum line to flush out debris resting between the bridge, gums, and neighboring teeth.
In addition to receiving a thorough cleaning, your bridge should be protected from impact damage. If you play contact sports, consider wearing a mouth guard. A mouth guard should also be worn nightly if you suffer from bruxism or nightly teeth grinding. Call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Maryam Brazdo.