|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
August 17, 2015
A dental bridge is used to bridge a gap that has been created by one or more missing teeth. The dental bridge consists of two crowns on the teeth on either side of the gap and a false tooth in between. The two anchoring teeth on the sides are called abutment teeth and the false tooth is called a pontic. The false teeth can be made out of gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of materials. A dental bridge is supported by the natural teeth or implant.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges can help to fix many different problems. Bridges help to restore an imperfect smile and can give back the ability to chew and speak properly. They help to maintain the shape of the face. They aid in distributing the forces in the bite properly by replacing missing teeth. Bridges prevent the remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are three main types of dental bridges available.
- Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge. They involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth with a pontic in between. These bridges are made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- Cantilever bridges are used if there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges are also known as a resin-bonded bridge. These are made of plastic teeth and gums that are supported by a metal framework. There are metal wings on each side of the bridge that are bonded to the existing teeth.
Process of Getting a Dental Bridge
Getting a dental bridge placed in the mouth normally takes a couple of dental visits to get everything to fit properly. During the first visit, the side teeth (abutment) are prepared for the bridge. Preparation includes recon touring the teeth by removing a portion of the enamel. This allows room for the crown to be placed over the teeth. Then an impression of the teeth is made. This will serve as a model for the dental lab to make the bridge, pontic and crowns. The dentist will put in a temporary bridge to help protect the exposed teeth and gums while the permanent one is being made.
During the next visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new permanent bridge is placed into the mouth and checked for proper fit. Your dentist will make the appropriate adjustments to make sure it is comfortable. It could take a couple fittings to check the fit of bridges with a metal framework. Dental bridges that are fixed or permanent might be temporarily cemented into place for a couple of weeks to make sure the fit is right and comfortable. Once this is confirmed, the dentist will permanently cement the bridge into place.
Dental bridges generally last for five to fifteen years. When there is proper oral care and regular checkups, a bridge can last for more than ten years. While dental bridges can make eating a lot easier, it can take some time getting use to the feel of the bridge in the mouth. It is a good idea to eat soft foods that have been cut into small pieces when the bridge is first placed in the mouth. This helps you get acclimated to eating with the bridge.
Dental Bridge Care
The key to maintaining a healthy dental bridge is to keep healthy and strong teeth. Proper dental care, like brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing daily, will help make for a solid foundation for the bridge. Keep regular dental cleanings and checkups so your dentist can find any problems ahead of time. Selecting a balanced diet and proper nutrition will also aid in keeping the bridge healthy.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected]or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.