- Restore your smile
- Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Traditionally Bridge is between the banks of a River, but in dental terminology a Dental bridge is a Lab crafted tooth, that would literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
At Riverview Dental Care Ltd, our dentist Dr. Jigna T. Thakkar, DDS would conduct a Comprehensive Dental Exam to help you if a Bridge could be a possible solution for you.
A bridge is made up of two crowns one on each tooth on either side of the gap — these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth — and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by either natural teeth or dental implants.What Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?
Bridge is supported on natural teeth posts while Crown is supported over an implant.
One or more missing teeth can adversely affect the appearance and functionality of your smile. Missing teeth can cause a change in occlusion (bite), shifting of the teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), speech impediments, an increased risk for periodontal disease and a greater chance of tooth decay.
Dental bridges, like implants and partial dentures, are used to replace missing teeth. There are several types of fixed dental bridges (cannot be removed), including conventional fixed, cantilever and resin-bonded.
Typically, conventional and cantilever bridges require shaping of the teeth surrounding a missing tooth. Crowns are then placed on the shaped teeth and attached to an artificial tooth (called a pontic).
A resin-bonded bridge requires less preparation of adjacent teeth. It is often used to replace front teeth, provided that the gums are healthy and the surrounding teeth do not have extensive dental fillings
- Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in between. 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 adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. Cantilever bridges are usually used to replace only one tooth.
- Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal framework. Metal wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
There are three main types of bridges:
Consultation and Treatment Planning
Once you and your dentist determine that a bridge is the best replacement for your missing tooth or teeth, you will be advised of different materials that the dental laboratory can use to make your restoration. Material availability will depend upon where in the mouth the bridge will be placed, whether or not you grind or clench your teeth (bruxism), your dental insurance coverage, and other factors outlined by your dentist. Today’s bridges can be fabricated from a combination of porcelain and metal, porcelain and gold, or exclusively with high-strength metal-free materials such as zirconia or alumina.
Your dentist will take X-rays and impressions of the treatment area, as well as preoperative photographs, for use in planning the ideal restoration for you. Depending upon the number of consecutive teeth you are missing, your bridge could be three or more units; two crowns that are cemented to the teeth on either side of the space (called abutments), plus one or more false teeth (called pontics) to fill the space. Additional impressions will be taken after your dentist prepares the abutment teeth.
Candidacy & Procedure Details
During the first visit, your dentist examines the health of your gums and other teeth to evaluate if you are a candidate. Candidates are given a local anesthetic so your dentist can prepare the teeth required to support the bridge. If the support teeth are decayed or badly broken down, your dentist may have to build them back up before they can be used as support teeth.
Next, your dentist takes an impression of the prepared teeth with a putty-like material that is used to create a model of your teeth. Your bridge is fabricated based on this model by a skilled lab technician so that it precisely fits the prepared teeth. It is important that your restoration fit perfectly to avoid additional oral health problems such as tooth decay.
While your restoration is being fabricated, your dentist fits you with a temporary so the teeth and gums can be protected from damage until your permanent bridge is ready.
To complete the procedure, you must return to the dental office for a second visit to have the bridge fitted and cemented.
- The potential need for additional procedures (such as fillings or root canals) in one or two of the adjoining teeth.
- The artistic technique of the dentist and lab technician.
- The location of the dentist.
- The coverage provided by your dental insurance.
- The type of material used in the bridge.
- The preparation of teeth involved in the procedure.
How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?
The cost of dental bridges varies depending on the type of bridge selected and the area of the country in which the procedure is performed. Dental insurance will typically pay a percentage of the fee depending on the individual dental plan.
The cost of dental bridges depends on several factors, including:
Bridges can range in price from $700 to $1,500 per tooth based on the aforementioned factors If you exercise proper dental hygiene and visit your dentist for regular checkups, your bridge can last for many years. If treatment is not covered by your dental insurance policy, or if you don’t have insurance, you may be able to enlist the services of a third-party financing company like CareCredit or Capital One. Qualified candidates can work with a financing company to develop a monthly payment plan that best fits their budget.
There are a number of variables that can affect bridge longevity, though it is not uncommon for them to last for 10 to 20 years.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
Dental bridges can last 5 to 15 years and even longer. With good oral hygiene and regular prophylaxis, it is not unusual for the life span of a fixed bridge to be over 10 years.
Recovery and Post-procedure Care
After your bridge has been cemented into place, your dentist will provide you with hygiene information to maintain the performance and longevity of your restoration, along with the health of your teeth and gums. A special floss threader will allow you to properly and thoroughly floss the areas surrounding your bridge and between the pontic and underlying gum tissue. It should be used daily to prevent the build-up of plaque and bacteria. Proper brushing with fluoride toothpaste should be performed at least twice each day.
Will It Be Difficult to Eat with a Dental Bridge?
It can be difficult to speak clearly when teeth are missing in the front or anterior areas. Wearing a dental bridge with the anterior teeth in their proper relationship will help you speak properly.
How Do I Care for My Bridges?
It is important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong as the success of the bridge (depending on the type selected) depends on the solid foundation offered by the surrounding teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss, Thus a balanced diet for proper nutrition is also important also. our dentist or dental hygienist can demonstrate how to properly brush and floss your teeth. Keeping a regular cleaning schedule will help diagnose problems at an early stage when treatment has a better prognosis.
Will It Be Difficult to Eat with a Dental Bridge?
Replacing missing teeth should actually make eating easier. Until you become accustomed to the bridge, eat soft foods that have been cut into small pieces.