You might have heard of a dental bridge, but it can be confusing when it comes to understanding exactly what it is, how it is fitted and what to do after your procedure. You might just be reading this article out of curiosity, but if you have been recommended for dental bridge treatment, or are simply looking for a solution to applicable dental problems, then you have come to the right place. Today, we will be discussing the following things:
- What a dental bridge is
- The different types of dental bridges that are available
- The benefits of dental bridges
- How to care for dental bridges
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is something that is used to replace missing teeth. As the name would suggest, they are designed to bridge the gap between one tooth and another. Dentists will make sure that your dental bridge is tailored to your smile. No one mouth is the same. They come in many different sizes and teeth don’t develop uniformly in every case either. This is why dental bridges have to be bespoke to each patient.
Something that is not widely known is that there are actually two different parts to a dental bridge: abutments and pontics. Abutments refer to the structure that supports your natural teeth, but in the case of a dental implant, they refer simply to the posts that are used in the dental implant-supported bridges. Pontics, on the other hand, refers to artificial teeth that are made to look completely natural and have the sole purpose of filling a gap in the mouth. Depending on the severity of your case, your dental bridge may consist of one or more abutments and/or one or more pontics.
What are the different types of dental bridges?
What people don’t know is that there’s no one type of dental bridge, although some are more commonly used than others. The type of dental bridge you need is dependent on your individual case, so make sure you discuss your options with your specialist dentist. Let’s discuss the different types of dental bridges and when they are most likely to be considered over their counterparts.
Traditional dental bridge – the most common type of dental bridge that consists primarily of dental crowns and pontics on both ends. The dentist will bond the crowns to your natural teeth and then fill the gap in between with artificial teeth (pontics)
Cantilever dental bridge – similar to traditional dental bridges but with one crown at one end and not on both ends. This means that the dentist will bridge on top your abutment tooth whilst the pontic hangs over the gap
Maryland dental bridge – a resin-bonded bridge that uses metal wings as opposed to crowns in order to secure the bridge. The wings will be bonded to the back of the neighbouring teeth in order for the bridge to stay in place. These are usually used to replace missing front teeth
Implant-supported dental bridge – similar to a conventional dental bridge, this has the ability to be placed on top of dental implants as well as natural teeth. The entire process might take longer to complete in this case, when compared to traditional dental bridge procedures, but this can depend on your individual case
What are the benefits of dental bridges?
There are many ways in which patients who are missing one or more teeth can benefit from a dental bridge. You might have discussed your options with your dentist, but are still on the fence about which one to choose in order to restore your smile. Perhaps some of these benefits of dental bridges will be able to help you to make your decision. Some of the advantages of dental bridges include the following:
- They can restore your smile, so you can talk and laugh again in complete confidence
- They can improve your chewing technique as missing teeth can make this difficult
- They can enhance your speech, because missing teeth can have an impact on the way you talk
- They can maintain your facial structure, which is something that can become negatively impacted if you’re missing several teeth
- They prevent your natural teeth from shifting
- They can prevent tooth decay, as there will be fewer gaps for food to sit and hide in
- They are incredibly long-lasting and durable
How to care for dental bridges
Like with most dental treatments, no matter what you have done, it is important that you maintain excellent oral hygiene. Just because your dental bridge consists of artificial materials does not mean to say you can slack on your oral health. As such, in addition to brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, and in between meals, you must do the following things in order to effectively maintain and look after your dental bridges:
- Use a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste
- Clean under the dental bridge twice a day and in between meals
- Avoid foods that are particularly hard and/or chewy
- Make regular visits to your dentist and hygienist, preferably once (in both cases) every six months
Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic have a team of specialist dentists on hand who are able to carry out meticulous dental bridge procedures for our clients. Regardless of the severity of your case, you can always count on us to provide you with an effective, long-lasting solution that will restore your smile. For more information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our professional team – we are always pleased to hear from you.