What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a restorative fixture that literally bridges the gap between two teeth. When a tooth is lost, a bridge may be installed to fill the empty space and prevent unnecessary wear and tear on surrounding teeth.
How do dental bridges work?
The standard fixed-bridge design includes two crowns and an artificial tooth. The crowns are in place at the edges of the bridge and will be fitted over natural teeth on each side of the gap to anchor the artificial tooth in place. This tooth in the middle, called a pontic, sits on top of the gums and gains its stabilization from the adjacent teeth.
Why Is a dental bridge needed?
You may need a dental bridge if you have lost a tooth or need a tooth extracted due to injury or disease. The purpose of the bridge is to restore the appearance and the functionality of your smile. A full set of teeth is vital to chewing and speaking ability. If the space left by a missing tooth is not filled with an artificial tooth, surrounding anatomy may shift. Loosening of the gums around surrounding teeth increases the risk of gum disease and decay. A bridge can significantly decrease these risks.
How is a bridge attached?
A traditional fixed bridge is attached to teeth that are adjacent to the gap in the arch. The attachment occurs through two dental crowns, one bonded to each natural tooth outside of the empty space. More recently, dental technology has been developed to secure a dental bridge to one or more dental implants. Dental implants are tiny posts that are inserted into the jawbone in a comfortable procedure after which artificial teeth can be affixed to the upper pole of the post or posts.
How are Bridges made?
Dental crowns and bridges are made in a dental lab, fabricated using a model of teeth made from dental impressions. The details of the tooth obtained through impressions are carved out of the selected material and then placed into the mouth for a full evaluation.
How long does Dental Bridges last?
Dental crowns and bridges can last eight to fifteen years or more depending on the type of material chosen to fabricate the restoration and the level of oral care that is maintained after treatment.
How to care for your Dental Bridge?
With proper care, a good quality crown and bridge can last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss the areas that they are in to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown. Dentists recommend using non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing is vital to the prevention of bacterial activity around dental crowns. Our team is happy to demonstrate proper flossing technique to preserve these restorations.