If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be concerned about the gap in your smile. A gap can affect your smile, chewing and even your speech. If dental implants are too costly, you may want to consider an effective but less expensive alternative: a dental bridge.Dental bridges, as the name implies, bridge the gap that you have in your mouth due to one or more missing teeth. A bridge requires two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. These are called abutment teeth and they support the bridge. An abutment can be a natural tooth or implant. A false tooth called a pontic is placed in the gap created by the missing tooth. Pontics can be made from various materials, including gold, porcelain, and alloys.Is a dental bridge right for you? Let the dentists at Breeze Dental assess your mouth and help you understand your options. Call us at (703) 273-5545 to schedule a consultation.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges have many advantages. They can:
Fill in the gaps and restore your smile.
Help you chew and speak better.
Improve your bite by replacing missing teeth.
Prevent sagging by maintaining the shape of your face.
Keep teeth in place and prevent drifting.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are three main types of dental bridges to choose from:
Traditional bridges. This is the most common type of bridge. It requires a tooth on both sides of the gap. The dentist will create crowns for these teeth to strengthen them. A pontic is then placed in between. These bridges are typically made of ceramics or porcelain fused to metal.
Cantilever bridges. These bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on just one side of the missing teeth. These bridges are not too common any more and can only be done in the front, due to forces which can damage the back teeth.
Maryland bridges. These bridges are typically made of porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. They are supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings are bonded to your existing teeth.
A dental bridge can take several visits. The abutment teeth are prepared during the first visit. During the preparation, the dentist will recontour these teeth by removing part of the enamel. This will allow room for a crown to be placed on them. The dentist will then make impressions of the teeth to serve as a model so that the lab can create the bridge, pontic and crowns. Your bridge will typically be made of porcelain or metal. In the meantime, you will wear a temporary bridge.On the second visit, your temporary bridge will be replaced with your new permanent bridge. It will be checked and adjusted, as needed, to ensure it fits properly. It may be temporarily cemented and then checked again in a couple of weeks. At that time, the dentist may then permanently cement the bridge into place.
Will It Be Difficult to Eat or Speak With a Bridge?
A dental bridge should not make it harder to eat or speak. In fact, it should make things easier. A dental bridge actually replaces missing teeth, so you are no longer limited to soft foods and small pieces. Chewing should be much easier than before, allowing you to eat your favorite foods. Talking should also be easier. It can be difficult to speak clearly when teeth are missing. Wearing a dental bridge will keep teeth in position, making it easier to speak properly.
How Long Do They Last?
How long your bridge will last will depend on how well you take care of it. Dental bridges can last 5-15 years and sometimes even longer. If you brush and floss daily and see your dentist regularly, a fixed bridge can last more than 10 years
How you care for your dental bridge is correlated to how long it will last. The success of the bridge depends on strong, healthy teeth. Therefore, good oral hygiene is very important. Make sure you brush and floss daily. Using an antiseptic mouthwash daily can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can lead to tooth loss. Seeing your dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams will help diagnose problems early on and prevent serious issues.
Contact Us Today
A dental bridge is a good way to replace missing teeth to improve your smile, speech, and health. If you are missing one or more teeth, the dentists at Breeze Dental can help you understand your options. Missing teeth can health and appearance issues, so get replacement teeth today. Contact our Fairfax dental office and schedule a consultation by calling (703) 273-5545.