Dental bridges do exactly as the name implies, they ‘bridge’ the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge is made by placing two crowns on the teeth either side of the gap – these teeth are known as abutments. A false tooth is then placed in between the abutments. Our dentists can use CEREC technology to complete your dental bridge in one appointment. As with all restorative procedures, our dental bridges are very functional and natural looking.
While dental implants are the preferred treatment for lost teeth, some patients may not be good candidates and may need to undergo a dental bridge procedure.
How long do dental bridges last?
A dental bridge will typically last 10 – 20 years. If you take great care it could last even longer. It’s really important to maintain a high level of dental hygiene at all times to extend the lifespan of your bridge.
What types of dental bridges are there?
Cantilever Bridges: These are used to replace teeth that do not have supporting teeth on both sides of the affected area.
Traditional Bridges: This is the most common type of dental bridge procedure. It involves creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the affected area, and then placing a false tooth to fill the gap.
Maryland Bonded Bridges: This is a more complex procedure. This particular bridge is made of plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal framework.
Why should you consider getting a dental bridge?
Having one or more missing teeth not only affects your smile, it also adversely affects your overall dental health. Missing teeth can cause a host of problems, including –
- A shift in the alignment of adjacent teeth
- Increased risk of tooth decay
- More susceptible to periodontal disease
- Possible speech impediments
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
What are the benefits of bridges?
- Restore your natural smile
- Restore your ability to chew properly and redistribute bite force properly
- Eliminate speech impediments
- Maintain shape of face
- Preserve adjacent teeth and gum tissue
- Maintain proper teeth alignment
What is the process of getting dental bridges?
The procedure for getting a dental bridge is typically a two visit procedure. First, your dentist will take x-rays to determine if you are in fact a good fit for a dental bridge. If you are, the dentist will begin by preparing and shaping the damaged teeth. The preparation phase usually involved removing a layer of enamel from the tooth to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, your dentist will make an impression of the teeth, which serve as a model by which the crowns, replacement teeth and bridge will be made. A temporary dental bridge will be made for you to protect the exposed teeth and gums from being damaged while your permanent bridge is being built.
During your second visit the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent bridge put in place and checked and adjusted to ensure a comfortable natural fit. Follow up visits may be necessary to monitor the placement and make adjustments to the framework. This will depend on each individual case. If you the bridge is fixed (permanent), your dentist may temporarily cement the bridge in place for a several weeks to monitor the fit. If all is well after this trial period, the bridge will be permanently cemented into place.
Are there any cons?
There are some disadvantages of dental bridges –
- Adjacent tooth structure needs to be removed to make way for the abutments
- The bridge is not anchored into the bone like an implant, which may cause the bone beneath the bridge to weaken and the surrounding gum tissue may recede
- Sometimes bridges will put additional pressure on adjacent teeth
There are alternatives – partial dentures and implants. However, it is best to consult with one of our dentists first to determine the most suitable treatment option.
How much do dental bridges cost?
The cost of a dental bridge depends on the type and size of the bridge needed. In order to get an accurate estimate you will need to consult with your dentist. Typically, individual dental insurance will cover a portion, if not all of the dental bridge procedure. We recommend you check with your provider before scheduling an appointment to determine your exact level of coverage.
Don’t have dental insurance? No worries. We offer in-house dental insurance plans for every situation.
To find out more about dental bridges, inquire about dental insurance plans, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today.