A bridge clinic can help you overcome lost teeth problems by giving you a new set of teeth to replace the ones you lost. Dental bridges are very popular these days because of many reasons. This particular tooth replacement procedure is very easy to have done since the procedure is not laden with complications and is not invasive at all. It is also less expensive than the two other tooth replacement options: dental implants and dentures. That’s why it is usually the first tooth replacement option that comes to mind at the aftermath of a lost tooth.
An Overview of Dental Bridges and Their Uses
- Purpose Of Dental Bridges
- How Bridges Work
- Types Of Dental Bridges
1. Purpose of Dental Bridges
You can go to a bridge clinic for many reasons. The primary purpose of dental bridges is to bridge the gap between one or more lost teeth. However, it can bring several other benefits like restoration of the usual functions of the mouth and teeth such as proper chewing and speaking, maintenance or changes in the shape of one’s face, or properly distributed impact when chewing or taking a bite.
Also, if you have lost teeth, the teeth around may drift out of their correct position. You will need to fill in the gap somehow, and the easiest way is to get bridges.
2. How Bridges Work
Bridges are made up of two crowns placed on the teeth on either sides of the affected tooth/teeth. These are the abutment teeth; their main purpose is to anchor the bridge. Between the two abutment teeth, there will be a false tooth or false teeth, depending on the number of teeth lost. The artificial or false tooth or teeth are held in place by the abutment teeth. They can be made using any of the following materials: porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination.
Due to this procedure, bridges do have one downside: the two teeth on either side of the affected tooth or teeth are affected. They have to be adjusted in terms of structure and size, and the change is a permanent one. This is one major factor to consider before getting bridges.
Bridges can also be supported by implants, although if you will get implant surgery, you might as well get a dental implant rather than bridges so you can avoid any changes to the neighboring teeth.
3. Types of Dental Bridges
Bridge clinics offer several different types of dental bridges; you can choose based on the best possible option for your specific problem. The first and most common type is the traditional bridge, which is what was previously described.
The second type of bridge is called the cantilever bridge. This is used when there are teeth only on one side of the affected tooth or teeth, so there are two side-by-side abutment teeth and the artificial tooth is attached to the end. This is called the 3-unit cantilever bridge. There are 2-unit ones but they are rarely used.
The third type is the Maryland bonded bridges, also known as resin-bonded bridge. The Maryland bridge uses artificial teeth made of plastic teeth and gums. The artificial teeth are supported on each side by metal wings that are bonded to the adjacent teeth.
The Dental Bridge Process
The dental bridge process takes two or more visits to the dentist. The purpose of the first visit is to prepare the abutment teeth. These teeth are permanently recontoured; the top layer of enamel so that there would be room for the abutment crown. After that, the dentist will take impressions of the artificial teeth that has to be made, which will be used by the dental laboratory that will make the pontic. While waiting, you will be given a temporary bridge so that the gums will not be exposed.
On the second visit to the bridge clinic, the first step will be to remove the temporary bridge and place the new permanent bridge. Usually the dentist will fit it and if some adjustments are necessary, there may be a delay in the procedure. You may go back several times after the second visit if the bridge doesn’t fit well. If it does, the dentist will put temporary cement and see how the bridge feels for a period of around two weeks. After two weeks and no problems are detected, the dentist will permanently cement the bridge into place.