Dental Restoration for Missing Teeth Using Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are a form of dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be made from different materials, including ceramics, metals or most notably porcelain. Porcelain bridges are natural-looking replacements for your missing tooth. They are fabricated by a highly skilled dental technician and permanently bonded to your existing tooth.
Total Care Dental of Madison uses porcelain dental bridges to replace missing teeth. Bridges can be completed in two easy appointments.
Types of Dental Bridges
A traditional bridge, also known as a conventional bridge, features two crowns placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap. This bridge includes a false tooth, called a pontic, suspended between the two crowns. The crowns are then cemented onto natural teeth or dental implants adjacent to the gap from the missing teeth.
Removable bridges, also known as partial dentures, are dental bridges that can be removed for cleaning. This kind of bridge has a metal framework with a plastic fake tooth that is held in place by clasps which attach to adjacent teeth. Removable bridges can be a viable option for individuals who cannot have traditional bridges due to issues with their teeth or gums such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Maryland bridges, also called resin-bonded bridges, are a type of dental bridge similar to other bridges where they have a metal or porcelain framework with a plastic tooth. The main difference with a Maryland bridge is the framework is bonded to the backs of adjacent teeth with metal or ceramic wings.
Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges, with the main difference being the bridge is only anchored to one tooth instead of two. This type of bridge is best suited when there is only one natural tooth available to support a bridge and when the gap between teeth is less conspicuous, like the back of the jaw. Cantilever bridges can be used with other types of bridges like traditional bridges to provide added support and stability.
Implant-supported bridges are a form of dental bridges that are supported by dental implants instead of natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of two or more dental implants placed into the jawbone that anchor the bridge. Implant-supported bridges offer critical advantages over other bridges, noted by their more stable and secure fit and added jawbone preservation to prevent bone loss.
Which Dental Bridge is Best?
Determining which dental bridge is best for your situation can depend on several factors.
- Number of missing teeth
- Location of missing teeth
- Health of remaining teeth
- Jawbone density
- Financial capability
Certain dental bridges are better when you’re missing more than one tooth. Where the teeth are missing also determines which bridge is best suitable. Teeth in poor condition around your missing teeth can rule out your ability to receive certain dental bridges. The condition of your jawbone is also important since some bridges do a better job of preventing bone loss than others.
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How Dental Bridges Work
Since there is no tooth for the crown to cover, the nearest teeth that surround the gap from the missing teeth are used as abutments to anchor the new tooth into place. The abutment teeth are given their own crowns which are directly attached to the replacement tooth. This keeps the entire dental piece firmly in place to support the installed bridge or implant.
Step-by-Step Dental Bridge Procedure
- Your teeth are gently ground down to secure the bridge.
- The adjacent teeth are prepared for crowns to be placed over top.
- Most bridges are composed of three units, so once the bridge is made it is bonded onto the two adjacent teeth.
There may be cases where your new bridge may require a cosmetic inlay or onlay. This ensures your new teeth look natural. Both inlays and onlays are placed within the grooves between the cusps of a tooth. Onlays have the ability to be placed over the cusp tips as well. Your dentist will consult with you on which option is best for your given situation.
Dental Bridges vs Implants
Dental implants are similar bridges but are installed directly into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. Dental implants are a more involved procedure than bridges but do offer certain benefits like jawbone preservation and the most permanent tooth replacement solution. The drawbacks of implants are their much steeper price and more involved procedure.
Dental Bridges vs Dentures
There are a few key differences between dental bridges and dentures. Dentures can be made as full or partial arch replacements, where dental bridges replace only a small portion of your arch. Dentures are removable and must be kept in a cleaning solution overnight, whereas most forms of bridges are not removable and function like natural teeth. Dentures can be less stable than bridges and have less support or natural chewing function.
Your dentist will go over which potential tooth replacement options are best for your given situation. Be sure to check out all teeth replacement options so you are ready for your consultation.
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Common Questions About Dental Bridges
Q: Are dental bridges permanent?
A: Dental bridges can be a permanent solution to missing teeth. Still, their longevity can depend on other factors such as materials used, how the bridge is installed, and how the patient takes care of their dental bridge over time through recommended hygiene, oral health and aftercare guidelines.
Q: How much do dental bridges cost?
A: The cost of a bridge can range from $300 to $1,000 per tooth. An all-porcelain tooth will cost more than a metal or porcelain fused tooth.
Q: How do you know if you need a dental bridge?
A: A dental bridge is recommended if you have one or more missing teeth in a row with healthy teeth around the existing gaps. You may be experiencing other complications like difficulty chewing or speaking or having teeth shift. Ultimately, your dentist will be able to determine your level of eligibility for dental bridges and if they would be best suited for your specific case.
Q: Do dental bridges hurt?
A: The placement of dental bridges can involve a level of discomfort, with some bridges requiring more intensive procedures than others. Talk to your dentist at TCD about ways to help you feel comfortable, including available sedation methods.
Q: Are dental bridges removable?
A: Certain dental bridges are removable, such as removable bridges. Removable dental bridges are best suited for patients who cannot have other bridges due to tooth decay or gum disease.