Various materials go into the fabrication of dental bridges in general dentistry. They also have support structures that hold them in place. For example, a conventional bridge gets its support from two teeth on either side of the gap that it fills. In contrast, dentists use cantilever bridges to fill an open-ended gap. This type…
How a Dental Bridge Can Affect the Surrounding Teeth
Dental bridges are one of the options you get to choose from when it comes to replacing missing teeth. These oral prosthetics come with two distinct components: crowns that are used to anchor down the restoration to the two teeth closest to it, and artificial teeth called pontics. Dental bridges provide a less invasive way to replace missing teeth compared to implants and more stable and natural-looking artificial teeth than dentures.
How dental bridges affect the teeth used as anchors
As we mentioned earlier, the two teeth closest to the space created by a patient’s missing teeth are used to anchor down the prosthetic. These teeth have to be prepared for their role as abutments by removing portions of enamel from their sides. This allows for a better fit with crowns, but it also leaves the abutments permanently altered. This means those teeth will always need to be covered up with a crown to serve as their artificial enamel since their real enamel has been removed.
Other types of dental bridges like the Maryland bridge do not require any alterations being made to the teeth closest to the gap, but these types of bridges are not as sturdy as the conventional type.
Once a dentist is done preparing a patient’s teeth for the abutment, an impression of their mouth is taken by asking them to bite down on a mold. This leaves an impression of the patient’s mouth. The impression is sent to a lab where restorations like bridges are made.
It takes about two weeks for the customized pontics and abutments to get back to the dentist. The patient comes in for a second appointment and the dentist installs the bridge. The bridge is permanently fixed in place once installed so the patient does not have to worry about it moving in their mouth. The benefits of replacing missing teeth with bridges include:
- Closing up the space created by missing teeth, which prevents the person’s remaining teeth from becoming misaligned as they shift towards the gap in an attempt to close it up
- Needing less maintenance than dentures. Good oral hygiene and, perhaps, using a water flosser are all it takes to keep these oral prosthetics clean
- Restoring the appearance of the wearer’s teeth. The device looks natural in the wearer’s mouth and the pontics are virtually indistinguishable from real teeth
- Providing more stability than dentures. The artificial teeth are securely attached to the abutment so the appliance does not shift in the mouth as is the case with dentures
- Restoring the wearer’s ability to chew and break down foods. It also restores their ability to pronounce words properly and speak clearly
- Avoiding oral surgery as is the case with dental implants. The process also takes significantly less time than implants
Replace missing teeth with a dental bridge
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