What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge eden prairie minnesota is literally a bridge that connects the space created by one or more missing teeth. A crown is placed on the teeth on either side of the space, which are called “abutment teeth,” and these crowns support the bridge. In cases where there are fewer teeth in the mouth, a crown can be placed on an implant, and then that crown is used to support the dental bridge. One or more crowns are affixed to the bridge itself, thereby filling the gap between the abutment teeth with strong, functional replacement teeth. These replacement teeth, which are called “pontics,” are made of gold, metal alloys, porcelain, or a combination of materials. Dental bridges can restore the mechanical function of your teeth, helping you to bite, chew, and speak better, and they may also help your remaining teeth from slowly moving out of place, or help maintain the shape of your face.
There are three commonly used types of dental bridges. The first, a traditional bridge, uses a crown on either side of the dental bridge to support the bridge, which includes one or more pontics. These crowns are attached either to the natural teeth, or to implants that are placed on either side of the gap that is to be filled. The most common kind of dental bridge, traditional bridges are either made of porcelain that has been fused to metal, or of ceramics. The second type of bridge is a cantilever bridge. A cantilever bridge is used if there are teeth adjacent to the gap on only one side. Cantilever bridges aren’t used often, and they can’t effectively be used in the back of the mouth, where the teeth undergo greater stress from chewing. Maryland bonded bridges, which are also called Maryland bridges, are made of porcelain fused to a metal frame, porcelain alone, or zirconia, though other materials are sometimes used. This frame is bonded to the backs of the existing teeth adjacent to the gap and are usually used when only one tooth is missing and the teeth on either side of the gap are healthy. Maryland bridges can be a popular choice for people who are missing a single tooth in the front of their mouth. In your consultation, you and your dentist will discuss the best type of bridge for your needs.
The process for placing a dental bridge is rather straightforward. For a dental bridge that will be mounted on adjacent abutment crowns, your dentist will first prepare your abutment teeth. This involves contouring the teeth, which creates space for the crown that will fit over the abutment tooth. For bridges that will be mounted on implants, the first step is to place the implants, which will then have these abutment crowns affixed to them. The dentist will also make impressions of your teeth, and a dental lab will use these impressions as a model to build your bridge, crowns, and pontic. You will receive a temporary bridge from your dentist while the bridge is being constructed and, in the case of implant-supported bridges, as the implant sites heal; this temporary bridge will help protect the exposed teeth and gums. Once your dental bridge has been constructed, you will have a second dental visit, and the dentist will place your new, custom-made bridge. The dentist will adjust the bridge, based on its fit and function. Once all necessary adjustments have been made, if the new bridge is a fixed bridge, the dentist will cement it into place. The price of dental bridges varies depending on the area of the country where the treatment is received, as well as on the type bridge that is being used. Dental insurance may cover at least a portion of the fee, so be sure to talk to your dental insurance provider before initiating treatment. With good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups, dental bridges can last 15 years or longer, though the average lifespan for a fixed bridge is usually about 10 years. Implant-supported bridges tend to last longer, as they don’t rely on natural teeth for support. The integrity of all bridges still depends on the health of the surrounding teeth and the gum tissue of the entire mouth, so oral hygiene remains of the utmost importance. Ask your dentist to demonstrate proper brushing and flossing technique, which may feel a little different with a dental bridge, and make sure to attend regular dental check ups to catch any problems that arise before they grow too serious.
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