What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge fills – or “bridges” – the gap in between teeth with an artificial tooth. If you are missing teeth, especially your front teeth, a dental bridge is a good option for restoring the appearance and functions of your missing teeth.
A crown is typically placed on either side of the teeth in the space where your missing tooth or teeth once were. They act as supports to the artificial tooth/teeth that sit in the gap. The artificial teeth on your dental bridge are referred to as pontics.
A dental bridge is a common treatment for people with missing teeth. It is a time tested method to restore missing teeth by dentists.
Why would I need a dental bridge?
Our teeth are meant to work together. Missing teeth create a whole host of problems, including:
- Lack of self confidence
- Trouble chewing
- Trouble speaking
- Bone loss
- Problems with your bite or teeth alignment
- TMJ or other types of tooth or jaw pain
Dental bridges help to remedy most of these issues, as long as they didn’t get too bad before treatment.
Qualifications for treatment
In order to get a dental bridge, you will need to have healthy teeth on either side of the space that is to be filled. They must have strong roots and be healthy or the procedure is likely to fail, long term.
Dental implants are a good option for someone who does not have healthy teeth in the region to be bridged.
What is the procedure for getting a dental bridge?
Dental Bridges typically require two appointments. In your first visit, the dentist will reshape your good teeth on each side of the gap. To do this, they will remove part of the tooth so that they can place a crown on each tooth. Impressions or a scan of your teeth will be taken. You will be given a temporary bridge to protect your teeth in between appointments.
Meanwhile, a dental lab will use that scan or impression in order to create your bridge with the pontic(s) and dental crowns.
When you return for your next appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge. He will then place the permanent bridge in its place and make any necessary adjustments.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to a dental bridge, here are some of the advantages:
- Improving your bite
- Prevent your other teeth from getting misaligned
- Restoration of your smile and self confidence
- Restoration of chewing and speaking
What are the risks?
Your bridge will not last if you fail to care properly for your teeth. The bridge could also come loose if the dental adhesive deteriorates in some way or if there is decay in that area. However, if your teeth are still in good enough condition, the bridge could be placed again.
How long does a dental bridge last?
There are many factors at play, but under ideal circumstances, they could last for 10-20 years. Sometimes they will last longer, and sometimes less.
Can I eat food normally with a dental bridge?
Most people are able to transition back to eating foods like normal again. However, you might make adjustments such as cutting foods into smaller pieces.
How should I care for a dental bridge?
The bridge is dependent on the health of your remaining teeth in order to retain its strength. Therefore, it is of critical importance that you take good care of them. This includes brushing twice every day and flossing daily. You will also want to see your dentist every six month in order to get a check-up and cleaning.
Are dental bridges covered by insurance?
It depends on your insurance and plan. However, dental insurances usually cover a portion of the procedure. You should contact your insurance provider in order to get more specific information about what they will cover for you.
Partial dentures are a common alternative to a bridge. Dentures are false teeth that are removable. You might also want to see if you are a candidate for dental implants.