Losing a tooth can be a stressful experience. Not only do you have to go through the distress of missing a tooth, but you also have to choose a replacement option. It may be overwhelming to think of replacing your missing tooth. However, it is essential to make a selection quickly so that you don’t endure additional side effects of missing teeth.
When you lose a tooth, the rest of your teeth will try to make up for the missing tooth. Your teeth all work together to bite, chew, and speak, so the missing tooth affects these functions until filled. Then, your remaining teeth will begin to shift to fill the empty space, which will significantly alter your bite. As a result, you can undergo pain or discomfort when eating, biting, or chewing. You can even lose more teeth.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Amongst the sea of dental replacement options, dental bridges are a quick, affordable alternative to dental implants. Additionally, dental bridges are much more permanent and durable than dentures.
Dental bridges fill the gap between your natural teeth with one or more prosthetic teeth. The false teeth literally “bridge” the gap from your missing teeth. The “tooth” portion of the bridge is made of crowns that are cemented in place using your natural teeth. The remaining natural teeth, called “abutment teeth,” support the bridge. The prosthetic teeth in the bridge are “pontic teeth.”
There are several times of dental bridges available, so it depends on how many teeth you are missing and where the teeth are missing from your bite.
One of the most common types of bridges is a traditional fixed bridge. Traditional bridges utilize abutment teeth on both sides of the bridge, typically consisting of ceramics, porcelain, or metal.
An implant-supported bridge would be necessary if you already have a restorative solution, like dental implants. Rather than teeth supporting the bridge, the bridge cements to implants instead.
Patients who are missing their front teeth might require a Maryland dental bridge or a resin-bonded bridge. Since it is generally meant to replace the front teeth, a Maryland dental bridge has wings on the sides of the bridge that flare out to reach your existing teeth.
Who Can Get Dental Bridges?
If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be a candidate for dental bridges. They are a quick, cost-effective way to fill the gaps in your smile. Unlike dental implants, getting dental bridges is a relatively non-invasive process that doesn’t need surgery.
However, some conditions—like gum disease, diabetes, and others—may require an evaluation to ensure you are a good candidate. In addition, in order to receive dental bridges, your remaining natural teeth must be strong enough to support the appliance.
You need a good oral health routine along with strong teeth and healthy gums. Keeping your mouth healthy is not only crucial for your overall health, but it is vital for making dental bridges last as long as possible.
If you are a smoker, you may want to consider quitting the habit to restore your smile. Unfortunately, smoking increases the chance of tooth decay and gum disease, which makes it challenging to make dental bridges last.