A dental bridge is a prosthetic device used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of two crowns, also known as abutments, which are placed on the adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. These abutments serve as anchors for the artificial tooth or teeth that fill in the gap.
The purpose of a dental bridge goes beyond just restoring your smile aesthetics; it also helps improve your ability to chew and speak properly. Additionally, bridges prevent neighboring teeth from shifting out of position, maintaining the alignment of your bite.
Types of Dental Bridges
When it comes to dental bridges, there are several types available to suit different needs and preferences. Let's take a closer look at some of the most common types:
- Traditional Bridge: This type of bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth held in place by dental crowns on either side. It is typically used when you have natural teeth on both sides of the gap.
- Cantilever Bridge: Similar to a traditional bridge, a cantilever bridge is supported by an abutment tooth on only one side. This option may be suitable if you have only one natural tooth adjacent to the gap.
- Maryland Bridge: Unlike traditional bridges, Maryland bridges use metal or porcelain framework bonded to the backside of adjacent teeth with resin cement. They are considered less invasive as they require minimal alteration to surrounding teeth.
- Implant-Supported Bridge: As the name suggests, this type of bridge is supported by dental implants rather than natural teeth. It offers excellent stability and durability but requires sufficient bone density for implant placement.
- Removable Bridge: Also known as partial dentures, removable bridges can be taken out for cleaning and at night while sleeping.
Remember that each person's situation is unique, so it's important to consult with our dentist, who will guide you in selecting the right type of dental bridge based on your specific needs.
The Process of Having a Bridge Installed
During the first visit, your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth, which are the teeth on either side of the gap where the missing tooth or teeth used to be. The preparation involves removing a small amount of enamel from these teeth to make room for the bridge. After preparing the abutment teeth, your dentist will take impressions of your mouth and send them to a dental laboratory. This is where your custom-made bridge will be created.
In the meantime, you may be fitted with a temporary bridge to protect your exposed gums and help maintain proper alignment while you wait for your permanent restoration. Once your permanent bridge is ready, you'll return for another appointment. Your dentist will remove the temporary bridge (if one was placed) and check how well the new bridge fits in terms of size, shape, and color.
If everything looks good, they will then permanently cement it into place using a special dental adhesive. Your dentist may also make some minor adjustments if needed before giving you instructions on how to care for and maintain your new dental bridge at home. Having a dental bridge installed can greatly improve both function and appearance by filling in gaps caused by missing teeth. It's important to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist to ensure long-lasting results.
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges offer a range of benefits for individuals who are missing one or more teeth.
- One of the main advantages is improved aesthetics. The bridge fills in the gap left by missing teeth, restoring a natural and attractive appearance to your smile.
- In addition to enhancing your smile, dental bridges also provide functional benefits. They can improve your ability to chew and speak properly, making it easier to enjoy meals and communicate with confidence.
- Another benefit of dental bridges is that they help maintain the alignment of your remaining teeth. When you have gaps in your mouth from missing teeth, it can cause neighboring teeth to shift out of position over time. By filling those gaps with a bridge, you can prevent this shifting and maintain proper dental alignment.
- Dental bridges are also a long-lasting solution that can withstand normal wear and tear. With proper care and regular dental visits, they can last for many years, providing durable support for your oral health.
At Greenwell Springs Family Dentistry, we offer high-quality dental care using state-of-the-art dental technologies. To learn more about our dental services, call Greenwell Springs Dentist at (225) 261-0043 or visit our dental office located at 14127 Greenwell Springs Road, Central, LA 70739.