A dental bridge is a dental restoration that replaces a missing tooth or teeth. They comprise two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, with pontics in between. Dental bridges restore your bite and help keep the natural shape of your face. They are called bridges because they bridge the gap created by the missing teeth. The primary purpose of dental bridges is to restore the appearance, function, and alignment of the teeth affected by missing teeth. At First Smile Family Dental, bridges help fill the gap left by missing teeth, preventing the remaining teeth from shifting out of position and restoring the ability to speak and chew properly.
Types of Bridges
Traditional Dental Bridge
This type of bridge consists of pontics held in place by dental crowns on the adjacent teeth. The adjacent teeth, called abutment teeth, are prepared by removing a portion of their enamel to accommodate the crowns.
A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge but is supported by a dental crown on only one adjacent tooth. This type of bridge is used when there is only one natural tooth next to the gap.
Also known as a resin-bonded bridge, a Maryland bridge consists of pontics attached to a metal or porcelain framework. The framework is bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth using resin or metal wings.
The Procedure for Dental Bridges
The dentist will evaluate your oral health, discuss your options, and determine if a dental bridge is appropriate. X-rays and impressions of your teeth will be taken to aid in the treatment planning process. The adjacent teeth are prepared for a traditional bridge by removing a portion of their enamel to accommodate the dental crowns. Impressions of the prepared teeth are taken, which will be used to fabricate the bridge. While the permanent bridge is manufactured in a dental laboratory, a temporary one may be placed to protect the prepared teeth and maintain aesthetics.
Once the permanent bridge is ready, it is checked for fit, appearance, and bite alignment. The dentist will then remove the temporary bridge and cement the permanent bridge in place using dental adhesive. Proper oral hygiene practices are crucial for maintaining the longevity and health of the dental bridge. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and attending routine dental check-ups. It's important to clean around the bridge and under the pontics to prevent plaque and bacteria buildup. Additionally, avoiding habits such as biting on complex objects and maintaining a balanced diet contribute to the bridge's longevity.
Dental bridges are a popular and effective solution for replacing missing teeth. They can restore the appearance of your smile, improve chewing and speaking abilities, and prevent further dental issues caused by missing teeth. If you are considering a dental bridge, visit First Smile Family Dental at 32717 1st Ave S., Suite 9, Federal Way, WA 98003, or call (253) 785-7323 to schedule an appointment.