Dental bridges are so named because they literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They are a great addition for anyone who is missing bone structure to hold dental implants, or just for someone who doesn’t want to have a permanent tooth installed.
A dental bridge is comprised of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth serve as the anchoring teeth or your dentist may refer to them as abutment teeth. The teeth in between them will be false. These false teeth are actually called “pontics” and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. If you already have implants, you can also use dental bridges with those.
Types of Dental Bridges
Cleveland Clinic, one of the top hospital blogs in the country, lays out the three different types of dental bridges very well:
- Traditional fixed bridges consist of two or more crowns and a filler tooth/teeth. The filler tooth/teeth are attached to one or more crowns. The crowns keep the bridge in place. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth (there are no teeth next to the other side of the missing tooth/teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain fused to metal teeth supported by a metal framework. Metal wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth. This type of bridge is commonly used to replace front teeth.
At Cambridge, you’ll find not just one expert dentist wichita ks on dental bridges — we have several. We have the skills and tools to do different types of bridges. We will meet with you and discuss your options for the most comfortable fit for your mouth and your lifestyle. Each one has pros and cons, and we will be honest with you about the shortcomings.
For more information about how dental bridges work, please view this video:
What is the cost of dental bridges?
The cost depends greatly on the area in your mouth, the amount of work that needs to be done, and the status of your remaining teeth. It can also be influenced by insurance. Your Dentistry Guide also points out that costs will rise if you need additional procedures in the adjoining teeth, the material used, and the amount of preparation that your mouth needs. Dental bridges generally cost between $500 and $1,500, depending on those aforementioned factors.
What is the dental bridge process?
Step 1: You will first meet with a Cambridge dentist wichita ks to determine if a bridge is the right approach to take. We will look at your mouth and chat with you about what your expectations and hopes are for your teeth. Using that conversation and examination, we will determine if we think dental bridges are the right step for you.
Step 2: Next, your abutment teeth will be prepared. Preparation will most often involve recontouring these abutment teeth by removing a small portion of your enamel to allow enough room for the crown to be placed over them during your next visit.
Step 3: This step is sometimes done in the same appointment as step two. Next, your dentist will take some impressions of your abutment teeth and the gap, which will serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental lab. This is because your bridge will be personalized to fit your mouth. But you don’t have to worry about any gaps or shaved teeth for the next few weeks, as your dentist will make you a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.
Step 4: This will definitely take place during another visit, as the dental lab will need time to form your personalized dental bridge. During this visit, your temporary bridge will be removed by your dentist wichita ks and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted. Your dentist will try to move it around, ask you to talk, and maybe even make you move your mouth in strange ways. All of this is necessary to achieve a proper fit.
Note: Multiple visits may be required to check how the dental bridges are melding to your mouth after use. This is dependent on each individual’s case, so you might not have any visits after your placement other than routine check-ups. You should also note that if the dental bridge is a fixed bridge, it may be temporarily cemented into place for a couple of weeks or so, just to make sure it fits properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is cemented into place.
How long will dental bridges last?
Dental bridges can last anywhere from five to 15 years, and can last even longer in some cases. With good oral hygiene practices and regular checkups with your dentist, it is not unusual for the fixed bridge to last well over 10 years.
What is the maintenance of dental bridges?
Dental Care recommends brushing your teeth in the morning, at night, and after meals to help reduce plaque buildup around the dental bridge. They suggest using an electric toothbrush to get the best possible cleaning. Floss will help around all of your teeth, implants, crowns, and bridges, and will help keep your gums healthy. Unhealthy gums may be a sign of weakness.
They also recommend not chewing on hard or sticky foods, especially if the first few weeks after installation. This can damage the bridge and cause pain. You should also use antibacterial mouthwash daily.
In the end, getting a dental bridge is a great step towards having the cosmetic results that you want. They can also strengthen your entire mouth. However, it is a big step so you will need to talk with your Cambridge dentist wichita ks about. To ask us any questions or schedule a consultation, call us at (316) 687-2110 or toll free at (877) 687-2110.