What are dental bridges?
A dental bridge is a dental restoration that is used to bridge the gap created by missing teeth in between healthy teeth. At the office of Drs. Lerner& Lemongello in Palm Beach, Florida, dental bridges have become one of the main techniques used to help patients cope with the absence of teeth in the mouth. Patients have found that the use of dental bridges is a viable, more stable, and more attractive alternative than removable teeth. They are composed of essentially two parts—the abutments and the pontics. The abuments anchor the bridge in place on either side of the gap, and the pontics, which are the artificial teeth, are attached in between the abutments.
What are the advantages of using dental bridges?
- They can easily restore your smile by filling in the gaps created by missing teeth .
- They help restore the patient’s ability to chew and speak properly.
- Because missing teeth can cause loss in facial muscle tone, dental bridges will help maintain the shape and structure of the patient’s face.
- By replacing missing teeth, dental bridges are able to distribute the force created by the patient’s bite evenly throughout the chewing surfaces.
- They can effectively prevent the patient’s existing teeth from shifting out of their proper positions.
Types of dental bridges
- Traditional dental bridges are composed of dental crowns or dental implants that serve as the abutments on either side of the bridge, with a pontic or pontics in between.
- Cantilever bridges are used when the patient only has existing teeth on one side of the missing teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges are composed of synthetic teeth and gums supported on a metal framework with metal wings or clasps on either side that are bonded to the patient’s natural teeth.
What should I expect when getting a dental bridge?
- During the first appointment, the abutment teeth will be prepared and reshaped in the same way a tooth is prepared for a traditional dental crown. The teeth on either side of the gap will be reshaped to a size that will be able to accommodate the abutment. Impressions of these teeth, the gap, and adjacent teeth will be made to serve as the basis for the fabrication of the dental bridge. A temporary bridge will be used while the permanent bridge is fabricated in a dental laboratory. When the patient comes in for the second visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent dental bridge will be checked for proper fit. Once the bridge is checked for fit and matches the natural teeth it is permanently cemented into place.
How long do dental bridges last?
Results have shown that, with proper oral hygiene and regular preventive treatment, dental bridges can last up to 10 years.