What You Should Know About a Bridge in Your Mouth

07/12/2017

Dental bridges are very common, low-risk, affordable, and time-tested treatments to replace missing teeth. Generally, it's called dental bridges because of the fact that it actually bridges the gap between teeth you lost. A characteristic bridge can be used when you lose tooth/teeth with artificial teeth that are called pontics and are held in place by abutments or 2 dental crowns.


These replacements that are used in a dental bridge are produced from different materials such as gold or silver amalgam, but most of the time porcelain is used for considerations of your aesthetics.

It will result in a fully restored smile due to its appearance and function. They can be attached to dental implants, which don't rely on the support of your natural teeth. Implant restorations of your teeth mimic your missing teeth's structure in entirety, which includes their roots. Therefore, it makes this method very stable and the strongest one that is available to secure bridges.

It doesn't matter which type you receive because bridge restorations have a lot of practical and aesthetic benefits. It will restore your oral health and dental functionality. But best of all is that due to aesthetic advances and the new technology of today, they are almost impossible to tell apart from your natural teeth.

Who can receive bridges?

Almost anyone that is missing 1 - 3 teeth next to each other can receive dental bridges. Yet, partial removable or fixed dentures might be better for patients that have a lot of teeth missing.

Your other teeth in the area of missing teeth or around it serve as a foundation for bridges, and that's why they should be decay free and structurally sound. If you experience any kind of gum disease, your dentist needs to treat the condition prior to placing your bridge.


Patients that can receive implant-supported bridges

With an implant procedure, the teeth are fitted to implants that go into the patient's jawbone. To be considered for implant-supported bridges they need to have enough volume of healthy bone that can support these posts.

Because degeneration of bone is very common as a side effect of losing a tooth, the dentist must complete a thorough examination to determine whether the patient will be a candidate to receive implant-supported bridges. Depending on this outcome, the dentist can then decide if a patient needs other procedures before carrying on with the bridge.

Some of the different types of bridges that are available

Traditional

Two crowns are needed to support the bridge on each side where the gap is, and generally, the crowns go onto the top of adjacent teeth. The dentist must reshape close-by teeth in order to create space for the bridge.

Cantilever

For this procedure, your dentist only needs to crown one of the adjacent teeth. Only one crown is required and can support the total restoration that normally consists of 2 pontics. It's not usually recommended for back teeth as molars bear nearly all the force of a person's bite. Thus, the bridge can be subjected to damage or it may even collapse.

Implant-supported

This bridge is a frequent alternative to your traditional bridge that is crown-supported. With its titanium post that is placed into your jawbone and by using the abutment, it's possible for the dentist to secure the custom-fabricated restoration straight into your implant post. This implant is like a new root for your tooth that can allow a long-lasting, durable restoration and with the proper care, will last forever.

Some materials that are used

Different types of materials are used for bridges. Your dentist will initially discuss the options with you and help you to make a choice that can suit your aesthetic goals and health needs best.

Metal alloys, gold, and silver

Your metal bridge restoration is the type that is most durable and the strongest. They won't require as much alteration as what your normal tooth structure may need. However, restorations with metal bridges won't correspond well with your smile, and that's why the dentist will only suggest them for your molars because it doesn't show when you smile.

Porcelain that is fused to the metal

These restorations also known as PFM, consist of a metal base that provides stability and strength. It's coated with a porcelain shell that is carefully selected to match your own teeth's color. Although, after some years this shell can start to erode and it will leave you with a smile that is tinted a slight gray.

With only porcelain

Many patients choose a restoration with all-porcelain because of their high life-like appearance. They are weaker than metal because it's thicker and requires extra alterations to your supporting teeth. They can also cause some wear and tear to your other close by teeth. Though advanced porcelain dental can blend flawlessly with your natural smile.

Zirconia

This is a dental ceramic type that is advanced with nearly the same strength as metal. They typically won't require a lot of alteration, the same as metal to your normal tooth structures. There is a wide variety of shades available and your dentist can assist you in getting a nearly perfect match for your smile. It can virtually make then indistinguishable from your ordinary teeth.