What is a dental bridge?
A bridge is a dental prosthetic that “bridges” the gap of your missing tooth/teeth. The bridge consists of crowns on the healthy teeth on each side of the gap (these are also called the abutment teeth). Between the crowns is an artificial tooth or teeth (called pontics) that replace the missing teeth. Bridges are anchored by the healthy abutment teeth or by dental implants. Dr. Green prefers porcelain for the crowns and artificial teeth because porcelain closely mimics the translucence and light reflection of natural tooth enamel.
For patients in this situation, our dentists will usually recommend a dental bridge if there are one or more missing teeth.
Why do I need to replace my missing teeth?
It’s tempting to put off replacing a missing tooth, particularly if it’s a molar that isn’t readily visible. But that’s a bad idea for a variety of reasons. First, teeth stay put due to the pressure placed on them by neighboring teeth. When a tooth is missing, the adjacent teeth tend to slide over into the gap. This creates alignment and bites problems.
What risks are involved if missing teeth are left untreated?
If left untreated, missing teeth or gaps in your mouth will cause remaining teeth to drift out of position. This will eventually affect your bite. People with missing teeth have higher rates of gum disease, and other dental and health-related diseases.
Dental Bridge Benefits:
- To complete your smile
- To prevent adjacent teeth from moving
- To restore chewing and biting capability
- To distribute the bite forces to not overload other teeth
- To restore your speaking diction
- To maintain the shape of your face
Dental Bridge Procedure
Receiving a bridge from Dr. Green involves two office visits. During your first appointment, we prepare the abutment teeth for their crowns. First, we need to make room for the crowns, so a portion of the enamel is shaved off the healthy teeth on all sides and the top. The crowns will completely cover the natural teeth down to the gumline. We then take impressions and photos of your teeth to send to the dental lab to use when fabricating your bridge. While we are awaiting your bridge, we place a temporary bridge that we make in-house also using your impressions.
Once your bridge is finished, you return for your second appointment. Dr. Green checks its fit and color match with your natural teeth. He adjusts the fit as needed. If you desire, we can place the bridge with temporary cement so that you can try out the fit for a day or two at home. Once satisfied, your bridge is permanently cemented onto your abutment teeth and you’re finished.
Dental Bridges Before and After
*Individual results may vary
Before and After a patient with Dental Bridges & Crowns.
Types of Dental Bridges
What we’ve described above is a traditional bridge. Dr. Green also uses two other types of bridges depending on patient need.
- Cantilever bridges — When there are healthy teeth on just one side of the missing teeth, a cantilever bridge is used. Two crowns are placed on the one side and the bridge, in this case, is more akin to a balcony.
- Maryland bridges — These bridges are typically used on the front teeth. Maryland bridges don’t use crowns as anchors. Instead, bands are cemented to the back surfaces of the supporting teeth.
Is The Procedure Painful?
There really isn’t any discomfort when Dr. Green is preparing your teeth for your bridge or when placing it. A local anesthetic is used when the teeth are shaved down to make room for the crowns.
How Long Will My Bridge Last?
Dental bridges have a varying lifespan from five to 15 years, but they can last longer. The health of the abutment teeth is usually the determinant. With good home hygiene, bridges can last a long time.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. John T. Green is a Dentist located in Dayton, Ohio. If you would like to learn more about Dental Bridges, call (937) 293-3402 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Green.