Dental Bridges 101: Everything You Need to Know

Dental Bridges 101: Everything You Need to Know

August 1, 2021

When you want to replace your missing teeth, you will have access to different options such as dental bridges. A tooth bridge is a restorative treatment that replaces missing teeth, and they look and function like your natural ones.

Before you can visit a bridge dentist, you need to know what the bridges are how they are fixed.

Why Are Bridges Used?

Dental bridges are pontics fixed on the existing teeth and restore your smile. The bridges are ideal if you have healthy teeth free of decay as they are used to anchor the bridges.

Several types of bridges are available that you can use to achieve your goal. However, the dentist will choose the ideal option based on the location and the number of teeth missing. The types include:

  • Traditional bridges

These are commonly used versions and they are often made of porcelain (resembles your teeth). But, you can also get them in porcelain-fused-to-a metal or all-metal. The bridges use the adjacent teeth for support. They are durable and strong and are more ideal for the back teeth.

  • Cantilever bridges

These are similar to the traditional bridges and they are made of porcelain-fused-to-metal. However, the bridges use only one tooth for support and as such as are used in the front teeth.

  • Maryland bridges

These are adhesive bridges that use a metal framework for support. They are less invasive and require minimal teeth reshaping because they are fixed on the back of the teeth. The bridges are also ideal for the front teeth because they shift and loosen easily.

  • Implant-supported bridges

These bridges are supported by implants and offer better support. You, however, need to have sufficient bone density for the implants to be fixed.

Can The Dental Bridges Be Fixed in One Day?

Not quite, although you can get temporary bridges. The dental bridges need at least two dental visits to be fixed and they are made at the dental lab.

  1. Assessment and planning

Our dentist will start the dental bridge procedure with examination and assessment to check if there are any existing dental problems.

An x-ray may be done to check the condition of the jaw before the procedure. The dentist will take you through the different types of bridges and choose a suitable one.

  1. Teeth preparation

The enamel needs reshaping before the bridges are fixed. The dentist will trim the enamel depending on the thickness of the enamel. The process can cause sensitivity, but the gums are numbed to ease the discomfort. This process is irreversible and it is important to consult the dentist on the restorative options.

After the trimming process, the dentist will take a cast of your teeth and gums to make the bridges. It can take several weeks to get the bridges back, and the dentist will cover the teeth with temporary bridges.

It is important to protect the temporary bridges by avoiding chewing sticky foods. If the bridges come out, it may cause sensitivity on the reshaped teeth.

  1. Fixing the permanent bridges

On the second dental visit, the dentist will remove and replace the temporary bridges with the permanent ones. The teeth and gums are cleaned before fixing the bridges. The dentist will then apply a conditioning liquid to etch the teeth and make it easy for the bridges to bond. A special block of cement is used to hold teeth in position.

How Do They Compare with Implants and Dentures?

Bridges, dentures, and implants replace missing teeth. The implants offer better support and stop bone loss. However, you need bone density for the dentist to fix them. Dentures, on the other hand, are removable and convenient to use as you don’t need teeth reshaping. But, they are not as effective in stopping bone loss as well as the bridges and implants.

How Long Do the Bridges Last?

Dental bridges are durable and can last for a decade with proper care. But, they will still need to be replaced after a while because they will be worn out and discolored.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Yelena Popkova, DDS for more information on dental bridges and what you can expect.