Restoring Your Smile With Dental Bridges
Proper tooth care will ensure that your teeth stay healthy and beautiful for years to come. Even with the best daily maintenance and checkups with your dentist or dental hygienist, you may have to deal with losing one or more of your natural teeth. It may result from tooth decay or gum disease affecting your oral health, or perhaps from an injury that results in the loss of a tooth. Whatever the reason, you undoubtedly want to restore your smile and replace the missing tooth or teeth.
How Dental Bridges Work
A dental bridge is a kind of dental prosthetic that, as the name implies, bridges the gap between two of your natural, healthy teeth to restore a missing tooth. A dental bridge uses crowns to permanently anchor to these surrounding teeth, called the abutment teeth. The bridge has a false or replacement tooth attached to the middle of these abutment teeth thus restoring your bite and smile. A dental bridge allows you to eat, drink, chew, and talk normally. With your bite corrected, you also prevent future damage to your jaw and other teeth that come with tooth shifting as a result of that missing tooth.
Types of Dental Bridges
Traditional bridges are the most popular type of bridge and are used when you still have teeth on either side of the missing tooth or gap. Made of porcelain or ceramic fused to a metal framework, a traditional bridge is strong enough to replace molars. However, the downside is that your dentist has to remove some of the enamel to attach the crowns to the adjacent teeth. Those teeth will always need crowns to protect them.
Cantilever bridges are used when natural teeth are only on one side of the gap, so the bridge is attached to that abutment tooth only. Like the traditional bridge, your dentist must remove enamel to attach it. There is also a higher risk of loosened crowns and fractured teeth due to the one-sided support.
Resin-bonded bridges, also known as Maryland bridges, are sometimes used to replace missing front teeth. These bridges use metal or porcelain bands to bind the replacement tooth to the adjacent teeth.
Whatever type of bridgework you and your dentist decide best fits your needs you will need a temporary bridge to wear while the laboratory is designing your permanent bridge before the final bridge is put in. A temporary bridge is often plastic and placed over the prepared abutment teeth to keep them clean and protected until the permanent crowns have been made.
Minimally invasive, fast, and affordable dental bridges may be the right choice for you. If you’d like more information about dental bridges or other restorative dental services that we offer, call Eberhardt Dentistry at (330) 836-5585.