Like implants and partial dentures, Dental Bridges are used to replace missing teeth. Fixed dental bridges, such as conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges, and resin-bonded bridges, cannot be removed. Conventional and cantilever bridges typically involve shaping the teeth surrounding a missing tooth, after which crowns are placed on the shaped teeth and attached to an artificial tooth called a pontic.
Missing teeth can make you feel embarrassed about your smile. Additionally, you may find it harder to chew foods and talk properly with a gappy smile. But missing teeth can also affect the health of your mouth and jaw. Since tooth stimulation helps keep your jaw strong and healthy, missing teeth may lead to jawbone deterioration. This deterioration can negatively affect further dental treatments (such as placing dental implants), as well as changing the shape of your face. Fortunately, dental bridges can recreate natural jaw stimulation and prevent deterioration.
Modern dental bridges are nearly undetectable compared to bridges of the past. Today's dental bridges are stronger and more natural-looking, thanks to durable ceramic compounds and realistic dyes. Dental technicians are able to reshape or color dental bridges to match the surrounding teeth so you won't have to worry about unnatural-looking dental work. Additionally, dentists now have access to precise imaging tools that allow them to create perfectly fitted bridges that are more comfortable.
Because every smile is a little bit different, dental bridges aren't one-size-fits-all. Your dentist will inspect your teeth to determine if you're a good candidate for this type of restoration. The following types of dental bridges may be recommended:
Traditional Bridges: A traditional bridge is typically made by creating a crown for both teeth on the sides of the missing tooth and then adding a pontic in between these teeth. The bridge will include crowns, along with false teeth connected in between. The pontic acts as a support point to keep the structure sturdy. Traditional bridges are typically made from ceramics (which look more natural), or the less expensive option of porcelain fused to metal materials.
Resin Bonded Bridges: Also referred to as Maryland bridges, resin bonded bridges are composed of a metal framework covered by ceramic, porcelain fused metal, or plastic false teeth and gums. Resin bonded bridges typically have small wings on either side that are attached to neighboring teeth with dental cement.
Cantilever Bridges: When there aren't any natural teeth on both sides of the missing tooth, a cantilever bridge may be recommended. Typically, a crown is made for the natural tooth, with a false tooth attached on one side. Because this type of bridge lacks support on both sides, they're not recommended for back teeth where more bite force is required.
Your dentist will need to prepare the surrounding teeth for crowns and take careful impressions of your mouth before a dental bridge can be placed. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth will need to be debridled enough for the new crowns to fit perfectly and look natural.
After the reshaping process, your dentist will take impressions of your mouth using metal trays filled with dental putty. You'll then be fitted for a temporary bridge, to protect your exposed teeth and gums, while your bridge is being made at the lab.
When your permanent bridge is ready, your temporary bridge will be removed and your dentist will check the shape, fit, placement, and color, of your new bridge, as well as how it affects your bite.
If you're embarrassed by missing teeth, you may be a good candidate for a dental bridge. Modern day bridges offer a natural appearance and fit and will help protect your jawline from deterioration. Contact the experts at Oak Ridge Dental Arts in North Carolina for quality dental bridges that improve your smile, and your life.