How Does a Dental Bridge Work?
A bridge can also be caused a “fixed removable denture” and it is designed to replace missing teeth. They are supported in the mouth in one of three common ways:
- By using the remaining natural teeth
- By using implants
- By using a combination of implants and teeth
A dental bridge literally fills in the gap that is created by a missing tooth or teeth. The bridge is comprised of at least two crowns on either end and the false tooth or teeth situated in between. The false teeth can be made from materials like:
- Any combination of these three materials together
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Bridges can help improve your mouth in a variety of ways including:
- Restore a natural smile
- Restore proper chewing and speaking capabilities
- Redistribute bite forces by filling in the gaps
- Prevent remaining natural teeth from shifting out of place
Different Types of Bridges
A dentist will choose which type of bridge is most suitable for each individual situation but they typically choose from three types: traditional bridges, cantilever bridges and Maryland bonded bridges.
The traditional bridge involves creating crowns for the teeth or implants on either side of the gap made by the missing teeth. The crowns have a pontic, or a false tooth in between to fill in the gap. The traditional bridge is the most common type used and are typically made from porcelain which has been fused to ceramics or metal.
The cantilever bridge is used when there are teeth adjacent to the gap on only one side. This is not common and is not usually used in the back portions of the mouth since it tends to put a lot of force on the other teeth and can cause damage to them.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
Another name of this type of bridge is resin-bonded bridge. These are made out of porcelain, plastic teeth and gums given support by a framework made from porcelain or metal; or of porcelain which has been fused to metal. For this type of bridge, porcelain or metal wings are attached on each side of the bridge and then bonded to the existing teeth.
How long will a dental bridge last?
In most cases, a dental bridge will last anywhere from five to 15 years; and sometimes even longer. For those who practice good oral hygiene and have regular checkups a bridge should last over 10 years.
Caring for a Dental Bridge
Keeping the natural teeth strong and healthy is the key to maintaining a bridge. The bridge depends on the surrounding teeth to provide support. By brushing two times a day and flossing regularly, tooth decay and gum disease can be avoided. Talk to a dental professional about proper hygiene and oral care to ensure overall oral health which will keep the bridge in good shape for many years to come. It’s also important to eat a well-balanced diet to provide teeth with adequate nourishment to remain healthy.