The Australian Dental Association states that over 1.1 million Australians have at least one dental bridge. Dental bridges are a popular teeth restoration procedure to replace one or more missing teeth.
This comprehensive guide covers the various types of dental bridges, the benefits of getting one, the process of getting a bridge, aftercare instructions, and alternatives.
Additionally, this article answers some of the most frequently asked questions about dental bridges.
What Are Dental Bridges?
A dental bridge is a restorative dental procedure used to replace one or more missing teeth. It comprises one or more false teeth, known as pontics, attached to adjacent teeth, termed abutment teeth. The pontics are held in place by a dental crown or bridge, which can be traditional or cantilever. Dental bridges are typically made of porcelain to match the colour of the natural teeth. Alternatively, dental implants can be used to support the false tooth.
The procedure for a dental bridge typically involves reshaping the adjacent teeth to make room for the bridge and crown. A temporary bridge protects the reshaped teeth until the permanent bridge is ready. The permanent bridge is attached to the adjacent teeth, restoring the patient’s bite and natural appearance.
Dental bridges are an excellent option for people who are missing one or more teeth and desire a more natural look. They are also a less expensive and far less invasive alternative to dental implants. However, the abutment teeth must be healthy and strong enough to support the dental bridge.
Types of Dental Bridges
Different types of bridges are available for replacing missing teeth. All types of dental bridges focus on restoring oral health and aesthetics to the patient.
The most common type of bridge is the resin-bonded bridge, which involves attaching an artificial tooth to adjacent healthy teeth with a metal or porcelain wing.
Another type of bridge is the permanent bridge, which involves placing an artificial tooth between two crowns. This type of bridge is the strongest and most secure but also the most expensive.
A third type of bridge is the Maryland bridge, which involves attaching an artificial tooth to adjacent healthy teeth with a metal or porcelain frame.
Finally, there are partial dentures, which are removable and may be recommended for patients who have tooth decay or gum disease.
No matter which type of bridge is chosen, proper care and maintenance are necessary for a successful outcome. Regular brushing and flossing with fluoride toothpaste, regular checkups, and professional dental cleanings are essential for preserving the longevity of dental bridges and maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Replacing missing teeth with a bridge can bring a variety of long-term benefits. Dental bridges are a type of bridge that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Depending on the type of bridge used, the dental bridge procedure may involve using a metal or porcelain framework with dental cement or an adhesive bridge with a metal or porcelain framework. Implant-supported bridges are also available, using metal frameworks secured with dental cement to the implants.
The benefits of dental bridges include improved speech, better chewing ability, and a more aesthetically pleasing smile. Additionally, bridges help maintain your face’s shape and prevent other teeth from shifting out of position. Dental bridges also provide a cost-effective solution for replacing missing teeth, as the cost of a bridge is typically less than that of dental implants. Furthermore, many dental insurance plans may cover all or some of the cost of a bridge.
Several types of bridges are available, including cantilever dental bridges, metal bridges, and adhesive bridges. Each type has its own advantages, so it is important to discuss your options with your dentist to determine which type of bridge is best for your needs. With proper care, a dental bridge can last for many years, providing a long-term solution for restoring your smile.
The Process of Getting a Bridge
The process of getting a bridge typically involves several steps. One common bridge option is the implants-supported dental bridge, a permanent solution for restoring a single tooth or several teeth. This particular bridge option requires the neighbouring teeth to be prepared to support the bridge, and the tooth structure will be adjusted to allow for the bridge. The dental procedure for this bridge option is very similar to the procedure for placing a dental crown.
Other treatment options may require the neighbouring teeth to be extracted and replaced with a bridge. The bridge procedure for this option involves preparing the neighbouring teeth and then placing the bridge into the space. Finally, the bridge is attached to the neighbouring teeth to help support it.
Regardless of the chosen bridge option, it is important to follow the dentist’s instructions to ensure a successful outcome. Dental bridges are a great way to restore missing teeth and provide a permanent solution to the problem. With the right care and maintenance, they can last for many years.
Following a bridge procedure and following aftercare instructions is important to ensure the bridge lasts many years. To that end, dental care experts recommend the following:
- Maintaining diligent oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, reduces the risk of plaque buildup around the bridge.
- Avoiding sticky or hard foods that might damage the bridge structure or materials.
- Scheduling regular dental appointments to monitor the bridge’s condition and any bone grafting that may have taken place.
- Attending follow-up appointments for bridge treatment, dental bridge placement, and cementation.
A dental bridge is a permanent tooth replacement and a great option for restoring your smile. By adhering to these aftercare instructions, you can be confident that your bridge will remain in good condition for many years.
Alternatives to Dental Bridges
Alternative treatments to bridge placement are available for tooth replacement. These alternatives include the bridge in position, where the neighbouring teeth hold the replacement tooth, and an anchor tooth, where a porcelain crown is placed on the tooth adjacent to the gap. These alternatives are permanent solutions that can be completed in two dental visits.
The replacement tooth is moulded and shaped to fit the gap for the bridge in position, while the anchor tooth requires a porcelain crown placed on the existing tooth.
Sometimes, the anchor tooth may need to be extracted due to decay or damage. If this is the case, a dental implant is a viable option for replacing the missing tooth. A dental implant is a titanium rod placed in the jawbone and acts as a bridge between the replacement tooth and the anchor tooth. Experienced dentists can help determine the best option for each individual based on their dental care needs.
No matter which option is chosen, it is important to visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to ensure that the bridge is in good condition and that the surrounding teeth are healthy. The bridge should last many years with proper dental care, providing a natural-looking smile with minimal maintenance.
Tips for Maintaining Dental Bridges
- Regular dental cleanings and check-ups with a dental practitioner.
- Regular flossing with a floss threader.
- Visiting a dental hygienist for professional cleanings.
- Incorporating a dental health routine.
Dental bridges can be a great solution for teeth restoration. They consist of one or more false teeth held in place by two or more crowns to fill gaps and restore function. With proper care, they can last for many years.
However, it’s important to remember that dental bridges are not the only solution for teeth restoration. Patients should know the alternatives available and research the best option for their needs.
In the end, no matter what the decision may be, having a healthy, beautiful smile is something everyone can appreciate.
At Vineyard Dental in Sunbury, VIC, we understand the importance of having a healthy and beautiful smile. That’s why we offer many teeth restoration solutions, including dental bridges. Our experienced team of dentists in Sunbury are ready to help you find the right solution for you. Visit us today and find out how we can help you achieve your desired smile.