Everything You Need to Know About Bridges

If extensive tooth decay, injury, or some other problem has left you with a gap in your mouth where teeth should be, you may want to consider looking into getting a dental bridge.

Dental bridges are an amazing treatment option for anyone who has missing teeth, but they aren’t for everyone. Learning all you can about dental bridges can help you determine if this is a treatment option for you.

What is a Dental Bridge?

Just like the name suggests, a dental bridge serves as a type of ‘bridge’ that helps to fill in any gaps in your mouth that are caused by missing teeth. The dental bridge is made up of several components that include an artificial tooth and dental crowns.

There are several types of dental bridges that can be used. Those include:

  • Traditional dental bridges (fixed dental bridges)
  • Cantilever bridges
  • Maryland bridges
  • Implant supported bridges   

Fixed dental bridges are the most popular option and used by most dentists. Implant supported bridges are a close second option for many people. The cantilever bridges and Maryland bridges are alternative dental bridge options that are still relatively new. Finding a dentist that can perform a fixed dental bridge procedure or place an implant supported bridge is relatively easy. However, very few dentists across the country offer these types of treatment options.

The Benefits of a Dental Bridge

Since fixed dental bridges are the most popular, we will focus on the benefits of those types of dental bridges. People often choose a fixed dental bridge because it has the following advantages:

  • Non-removal treatment option for missing teeth – bridges do not need to be removed to be cleaned and stay in the mouth for many years
  • Last for many years – bridges can last at least 10 to 15 years before needing to be replaced
  • Surrounding teeth are strengthened
  • Help to maintain the shape and structure of your face
  • Boosts confidence levels by restoring your smile
  • An alternative option to implants – fixed bridges do not involve the lengthy, and sometimes painful, implant process

What is the Procedure Like to Fit the Mouth with a Dental Bridge?

The procedure used to put the dental bridge in your mouth is relatively easy and pain-free. Before the procedure, your dentist will use Novocain or other numbing agents to prevent you from feeling any pain during the procedure.

Once you are numb, your dentist will start the procedure. First, he or she will file down the teeth surrounding the gap. These teeth will be filled down until they resemble tiny little nubs. After they are filed down, crowns will be placed on these teeth. The crowns serve as a support for the artificial tooth that will fill in the gap.

The final step of the dental bridge procedure involves placing the artificial tooth in the gap. Before the procedure, your dentist will create an artificial tooth, usually made of porcelain or ceramics. The tooth is designed to look, feel, and function like a regular tooth. Once your dentist has the final artificial tooth, he or she will securely place it in the gap and use the crowns to support it and hold it into place.

What Care is Involved with Dental Bridges?

Many people are surprised that the care and maintenance of dental bridges is no different than how you care for regular teeth. After the dental bridge is placed, you will want to brush three times a day and floss at least once a day. This will help prevent tooth decay from occurring not only around the dental bridge, but around your other teeth. Regular brushing and flossing will also help to prevent gum disease.

In addition to regular brushing and flossing, you will want to schedule regular visits to your dentist. During your visit your dentist can not only check for any problems that may arise, but he or she can professionally clean your teeth. A professional cleaning can often remove tartar and plaque that cannot be removed with just regular brushing and flossing.

Are you interested in getting a dental bridge? Schedule an appointment at Bonham Dental Arts, located in Largo, Florida, to learn more about dental bridges and how they may be able to help you.