A dental bridge is one of the most common types of restorations and is used to replace missing teeth that may have fallen out or required extraction. The design of a dental bridge is very simple. It comprises of an artificial tooth, called a pontic, which is usually created using a porcelain crown and in the perfect shape, size and color to match the rest of your smile. This tooth is attached on each side to at least one more porcelain crown that is designed to sit over the top of your natural teeth on either side of the gap. These are known as abutments and will act as the main support for the bridge, securing it in place.
Types Of Dental Bridges
There are several different types of dental bridges, and which you are recommended to have will depend on where the gap in your smile is and your individual requirements. The different types are:
Traditional fixed bridge: a single pontic in the middle, with abutment crowns on either side.
Cantilever bridge: used in patients who only have supporting teeth on one side of the gap, such as at the very back of the mouth.
Maryland bonded bridge: usually used to replace front teeth and also fixed using metal or porcelain wings on either side of the bridge for additional stability.
Implant-supported bridge: this is where a traditional fixed bridge is supported on dental implants.
Fitting A Dental Bridge
The process of getting a dental bridge fitted is fairly simple and usually takes place over two visits to your dentist. During the first, you will have your teeth prepared. This process involves filing down the abutment teeth that are on either side of the gap so that the crowns that will be used to support the bridge will sit securely over the top of them. Once they have been prepared, impressions will be taken which will be used to create your bespoke bridge. In the meantime, you will be fitted with temporary crowns over the newly-prepared teeth to ensure that you can continue to use your mouth normally until the bridge is ready.
Once your bridge has been designed and manufactured, you will be invited back to see your dentist so that it can be checked and fitted. This process involves cementing the abutment crowns permanently into place, which will secure the pontic and fully restore your smile.
Am I A Candidate For A Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges have been used for a long time and remain extremely popular. However, not everyone is automatically a suitable candidate for the solution. Before you can be approved for a dental bridge, you will need to have a consultation with your dentist who will determine if the solution is suitable for you, if it is the best solution for your needs and what type of dental bridge you need. If you are found to require an implant-supported bridge, you may need to have an assessment with a maxillofacial specialist to determine if it is possible to place implants into your jawbone immediately, or if any preparatory work, such as a bone graft, is needed beforehand. This is because implants require sufficient bone dentists and gum tissue to be secure.
Typically, patients who are found to be good candidates for a dental bridge:
Are over the age of 18
Are missing one or two teeth (any more than this could necessitate a partial or full denture)
Have otherwise healthy teeth and gums
Have strong abutment teeth to secure the bridge in place
Understand how to look after their bridge
Are committed to their oral health
Have realistic expectations for the outcome of their procedure
If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for a dental bridge, please contact our family dentistry office in McComb, MS where our team would be delighted to schedule you an appointment.