No one likes having a gap in their teeth. Having a missing tooth or teeth can make it difficult to bite and chew, and many people find they don’t smile with the confidence they used to when there is a gap in their teeth. If your tooth falls out, is extracted, or is knocked out, you’ll want to consider the repair options that are available to you. One of these options may be a dental bridge.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a prosthetic that “bridges” the gap between teeth. This may be a single tooth or multiple teeth. Dental bridges are held in place with the assistance of natural teeth. These teeth are reshaped to place the mechanism that holds the bridge in place. There are different types of bridges that may be available. At 24/7 Dental, we can take a look at the gap between your teeth and the surrounding teeth to see what type of bridge is best to meet your needs.
Why a Dental Bridge?
There are a variety of different reasons why you’ll want to consider having a dental bridge placed. Below are some of the main reasons:
- Better smile. It’s no secret that having a gap in your teeth can make it more difficult to smile with confidence. This, in turn, can affect your self-esteem. A dental bridge allows you to smile confidently by filling in the gap in your smile.
- Stop migration. A lot of people don’t know that teeth help to hold each other in place. If you have a missing tooth or teeth, your teeth may begin to migrate over time. This leads to impacting, crowding, and crookedness. A dental bridge will provide the surrounding teeth with the support they need to avoid teeth migration.
- Better bite support. If you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, you may find that it is harder to bite and chew the foods you love. A dental bridge provides you with more support so you can bite and chew many of your favorite foods.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
There are some major advantages to dental bridges that make them a great option for patients. These include:
- Cost. Teeth replacements can be expensive. Dental implants, for instance, are much more expensive than other replacement options. Dental bridges are more affordable when compared to dental implants.
- Longevity. Dental bridges can last a long time. Oftentimes, dental bridges last around 15 years or longer.
- No surgery required. Dental implants require a surgical procedure to place. Dental bridges, on the other hand, do not.
Types of Dental Bridges
While the mechanics are similar, dental bridges aren’t just one thing. There are actually different types of dental bridges. Which type of bridge is right for you will depend on a few different factors that you can discuss with your dentist at 24/7 Dental. Below are the most common types of dental bridges:
Traditional Fixed Bridge
A traditional fixed bridge involves the prosthetic being held in place by the surrounding teeth on either side of the gap. Generally, this is made with ceramics or porcelain fused to metal. This is a good option for patients that have viable teeth on either side of the gap that can be shaped to place the crowns for the bridge.
Maryland Bonded Bridge
A Maryland bonded bridge is quite different from a traditional bridge. This form of bridge involves the use of a metal framework that goes behind the teeth of the patient.
The cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge except the prosthetic tooth or teeth are held in place by crowns on one side. This is especially useful for patients that are having molars replaced.
The Bridge Placement Process
The placement process will vary depending on the type of bridge, but for traditional and cantilevers you can expect a similar process. With that said, all dental bridges start with a trip to the dentist for them to check out your gums, teeth, and jawbone. From there, they can let you know what replacement options are available.
Once your dentist decides on a traditional or cantilever dental bridge, they will set an appointment with you to make an impression of the area and shape the teeth so a permanent bridge can be placed. While the prosthetic is being created, your dentist may place a temporary bridge. When the prosthetic is complete, your dentist will place the bridge using dental cement on the teeth that have been shaped.
Maryland bridges have a different placement process. With this form of dental bridge, your dentist will etch the back of the teeth surrounding the missing tooth. Metal wings will be placed behind the natural teeth to hold the false tooth in place. A strong resin is used to ensure the bridge stays in place.
To see if a dental bridge is the right option to meet your needs, reach out to 24/7 Dental. We’ll take a look at the area and see if a bridge will be the best replacement choice available.
Other Replacement Options
Besides dental bridges, there are a couple of other replacement options. These include dentures and dental implants. Dentures are the most affordable option, but they also provide the least amount of support. Dental implants are very strong and sturdy, but they are more expensive. They also require a surgical procedure to place.
Ultimately, the right replacement option will depend on what options are physically available to you, your insurance, and the cost.
Reach Out Today!
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, reach out to 24/7 Dental today! We’ll take a look at the area and see what replacement options are available. If a dental bridge is a good option, your dentist will walk you through the process and get you started.
We look forward to speaking with you and replacing your missing tooth or teeth!