You may already know that missing teeth can impact your oral and your overall physical health. However, did you also know that this condition can also impact your mental health? Missing teeth can impact your self-esteem and make you lose your confidence- but tooth replacement solutions like dental bridges can help.
The team at Avery Dental Center in Dublin is here to help you with your oral and overall health with a variety of dental services. We work with a lot of patients who are missing one or more teeth. When a patient is missing several teeth in a row, they often choose a dental bridge. This allows the replacement of several teeth with a single dental appliance.
In this article, we’ll explain more about dental bridges, the different types, and how the procedure works.
A dental bridge is a dental appliance designed to replace several missing teeth in a row, consisting of two crowns and one or more teeth between.
Your teeth rely on the opposing teeth to share the pressure of biting/chewing. When you are missing one or more teeth, the adjacent teeth will shift to fill in the gap. This can cause problems with chewing, pain, and change your appearance. A dental bridge can fill in the gaps. Another option to replace missing teeth is dental implants. Unfortunately, implants can get expensive, especially if you need several.
A dental bridge is typically recommended for patients who need crowns on the teeth next to the gap, don’t want implants, or are unable to get implants due to medical or financial reasons.
The dental team will work with you to determine if you are a good candidate for a dental bridge and, if so, which kind is best.
There are four different types of dental bridges:
requires that dental crowns be placed on adjacent teeth on both sides of the gap to support the crown.
only requires one tooth for support, not two
this type of bridge is the ideal dental bridge for front teeth because it attaches to adjacent teeth with wings instead of dental crowns.
requires placement of dental implants on either side of the gap to support the bridge instead of the natural teeth.
There are several benefits that come with dental bridges:
The process for getting a dental bridge varies depending on the type of bridge you are getting. Some take longer than others- but no matter what type of bridge you are getting, the dentist will either take digital impressions or create an impression of your mouth to send to the lab for the creation of your bridge.
If you are getting a traditional or cantilever bridge, the dentist will need to prepare the adjacent teeth for dental crowns. If you are getting an implant-supported bridge, the implants will need to be placed, which can be an extensive process. If you are getting a Maryland bridge, the dentist will need to place the attachments on the adjacent teeth.
You should refrain from eating for at least 30 minutes after the bridge is placed. If you had local anesthesia, it’s best to wait until the anesthesia wears off before eating to avoid injuring the inside of your mouth.
When you do eat, stick with soft foods for at least 24 hours. Some patients continue with a soft food diet for the 2 weeks it takes for a dental bridge to settle.
You can brush and floss as usual after eating and at bedtime- you will want to take extra precautions for the 2 weeks following the procedure to avoid causing any damage to the bridge.
Most dental bridges last an average of 5 to 15 years. However, it is possible to make it last longer with proper care and maintenance. This includes proper cleaning, good oral hygiene habits, and visiting the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning.