A bridge or fixed partial denture is a restoration which replaces or spans the space where one or more teeth have been lost. There are two types of bridges - fixed and removable. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dentist. On the other hand, you can take out a removable bridge for cleaning. Removable bridges, while less expensive, may not be as desirable as fixed bridges because they are not generally stable.
Why do I need a Dental Bridge?
Your appearance, dental health, and the proper functioning of your mouth are all important reasons for wearing a bridge. A dental bridge helps maintain the natural shape of your face and may help support your lips and cheeks. Another reason includes straightening your teeth in order to prevent more lost teeth, which will maintain your voice and ability to properly eat . If you need extensive fixed bridge work, our dentist will provide treatment or refer you to a prosthodontist. A prosthodontist is a specialist trained in restoring natural teeth and in replacing missing teeth.
How is a Bridge attached?
A fixed dental bridge is commonly cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A false tooth (called a pontic) replaces the lost tooth. The pontic is attached to the crowns (restorations that cover the tooth). Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
Types of Dental Bridges
Implants attach artificial teeth directly into the jaw or under the gum tissue. Because they require surgery, candidates for implants should have good general health and have adequate bone to place an implant.
In some instances, a resin-bonded bridge, frequently called a "Maryland Bridge," can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Because the bridge is attached by a special procedure called bonding, it doesn't require the use of crowns or extensive tooth preparation. Your dentist can determine whether this treatment method is appropriate for you.
Materials Used for Bridges
Appearance and function are considered when selecting materials for bridges. Bridges are made of gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or combination of the materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal. Your dentist will discuss which materials are best for you.
Maintaining your Dental Bridge
It is very important to keep your remaining teeth healthy. Brush twice a day, and clean between the teeth with floss or interdental cleaners. These measures help remove the sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque causes gum disease and dental decay.
A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or the bone that holds it becomes damaged by dental disease. Be especially careful to clean the areas under, around and between the bridge and your natural teeth. Dental floss threaders and special brushes can help you reach the areas. It is also important to visit your dentist regularly.
Please contact us for more information to determine if you need a dental bridge. If you already have one and are experiencing difficulty, please contact us immediately.