The Benefits of a Dental Bridge
If you have missing teeth, it’s only natural to feel self-conscious about your smile; fortunately, modern dentistry has made it possible to not only reclaim your smile but also restore your self-esteem. One of the most common dental appliances used to fill tooth gaps is a dental bridge, a fixed dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge can be attached to the patient’s natural teeth or implants acting as an abutment (a connecting element). A dental bridge, in essence, is a bridge that fills the void created by one or more missing teeth.
Is there more than one type of bridge available?
It’s important to note that there are three variations available when it comes to dental bridges:
- Traditional bridges- These are by far the most common and are constructed from either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. This type of dental bridge is ideal for filling the void created by a single missing tooth since a pontic (an artificial tooth) can be placed on either side of the abutment.
- Resin-bonded bridge- Although not as common as a traditional bridge, the resin-bonded bridge is ideal for filling tooth gaps in the front of a patient’s mouth. These bridges are generally constructed from porcelain fused to metal; however, in some instances, they may be attached to plastic teeth and gum, which are held in place by porcelain or metal framework.
- Cantilever bridges- This type of dental bridge is typically recommended for patients who have natural adjacent teeth on only one side of missing tooth. However, they are usually only recommended for anterior teeth.
The benefits of the dental bridge
A dental bridge can offer a myriad of benefits to those who need them, including
- Restoring their smile
- Preventing natural teeth from moving out position
- Maintaining facial shape
- Restoring tooth function
Needless to say, a dental bridge can go a long way in improving your physical appearance and allowing you to, once again, enjoy your favorite foods. But there is something to be said for how much they can help boost one’s self-esteem.
Getting a dental bridge
To be fitted with a dental bridge, your dentist will have to first create the abutment; this preparation entails grinding away a portion of the tooth enamel on the adjacent teeth, which will act as the anchor for the dental bridge. Next, your dentist will have to take impressions of your teeth, which will be sent to a lab, which will make both the pontic and bridge. In the interim, your dentist will provide you with a temporary bridge, which will protect your exposed teeth and gums until you can be fitted with your permanent bridge.