About Dental Bridges
If you’ve lost teeth due to accident, injury, or disease, we can create a permanent bridge to restore your solid smile. A bridge consists of an artificial tooth, supported by neighboring crowns and “bridging” the space left by a missing tooth. A bridge is typically made of a dental crown on either side of the missing tooth or teeth supporting the pontic (false tooth) and is cemented in place.
A bridge not only fills the gap, but it also prevents repositioning of remaining teeth. It can correct a misaligned bite, improve chewing function and speech articulation, and provide internal structure for the face to give you a more youthful appearance.
It’s important to replace missing teeth, whether with a bridge, dental implant or other dental work. Without attention, missing teeth can cause other remaining teeth to shift, damaging your jaw and teeth and leading to increased dental problems like TMJ disorder. They also can be embarrassing or unsightly, leading many patients to avoid smiling and laughing. A bridge can help restore your confidence, appearance and oral health.
What to Expect With Dental Bridges
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It’s fixed to two surrounding teeth, called abutment teeth, with the use of crowns. There are a few different styles of bridges, and different bridge materials are available.
Every patient’s treatment needs differ and the style of bridge we suggest will depend upon the strength and health of the anchor teeth, as well as the location of the gap in relation to the rest of your teeth. If the anchor teeth aren’t strong enough for a bridge application, we may recommend treatment with an implant instead. For a bridge that replaces many teeth, we may recommend a removable partial denture or implant-supported prosthesis. Each bridge, implant, denture or replacement tooth is custom-made to match your smile and fit with your natural teeth.
The process of getting a bridge includes preparing the anchor teeth and taking detailed impressions of your teeth. Often, you can expect to have a temporary bridge while your permanent one is being made.
Once your permanent bridge is ready, it will be placed and bonded to your teeth. Most bridges can be expected to last from 5 to 10 years with good daily care and regular preventive cleanings from your dental hygienist.
What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
Traditional fixed bridge
This is the most common type of bridge. It has two or more crowns and a false tooth that are all connected. The crowns keep the bridge in place.
The pontic (false tooth) connects to only one abutment tooth in this type of bridge. This can sometimes be an option for people who have teeth on only one side of the gap.
Maryland Dental Bridge (resin-bonded bridge)
You may have this type of bridge if you have missing front teeth. It’s made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramic teeth, supported by framework. Wings on each side of the bridge bond to your existing teeth.
Implant Supported Bridge
This bridge is similar to a traditional fixed bridge but instead of being cemented in place to teeth, it is held in place by implants.
How to Care for Dental Bridges
Adapting proper dental care habits can help add longevity not only to your dental bridges but also to your surrounding natural teeth. It is common for food to become lodged beneath or beside bridges, which can cause plaque build-up and tooth decay. In severe cases of unaddressed plaque, the decay can actually cause the bridge to fail. In addition to regularly brushing and flossing your natural teeth, dental bridges require daily care as well including:
- Brushing the teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing between the natural tooth and the bridge
- Flossing underneath the bridge with additional oral hygiene tools
- Rinsing the teeth regularly with a fluoride mouthwash
- Getting your teeth checked and professionally cleaned by a dentist on a regular basis
Additionally, avoiding chewy or tough foods such as nut shells and hard candy can also help preserve the integrity of your dental bridge. Although dental bridges are not as strong as natural teeth, they can last decades with proper maintenance and care.
Who Needs Dental Bridges and Why
Dental bridge placement can help prevent the issues that can result from having missing teeth and can be customized to blend in with the shape, color, and texture of your surrounding natural teeth. Adults who are missing one or more consecutive teeth may be recommended for dental bridges to:
- Restore the functionality of the teeth for normal chewing and eating
- Maintain a normal appearance without visibly missing teeth
- Prevent speech impediments that can occur when teeth are missing
- Keep the bone and gum tissues that once supported the missing teeth from degrading when bridges with implants are present
As dental bridges rely on healthy teeth and gums for the crowns to stay anchored, candidates who have gum disease may need to wait until gum health has been fully restored to help ensure the success of the dental bridge procedure. During your consultation, our team will assess your medical history and condition and discuss all of your treatment options with you to determine if you are a candidate for dental bridges.
Dental Bridges in Redding CA
At Moore and Pascarella, we combine high quality dental care with a great patient experience. To find out if you are a candidate, reach out to our office today and schedule your consultation for Dental Bridges in Redding CA.