Do you have a gap in your smile because you have lost one or more teeth? A dentist can rectify this with the help of a dental bridge. A bridge fills the space by replacing the space with a synthetic tooth. The teeth functioning as anchors are abutment teeth, while the false tooth is known as a pontic. Generally made from form metal alloys, porcelain and gold, the Pontics can also be created with a combination of other materials. The bridge can be sustained either by dental implants or natural teeth.
For creating a bridge, the teeth next to the missing space are prepared to accommodate the bridge. This is done by removing some tooth structure surrounding the affected tooth and over the top to create space for the bridge. A mold of the prepared teeth is obtained and then sent to the lab.
Materials for Dental Bridges
Making dental bridges is both an art and a science. To be able to function completely, the bridgework must feel natural and match with the other natural teeth in your mouth. To imitate the look of natural enamel, usually dentists use porcelain attached to a metal base. A few bridges utilize a fused resin that renders the thinness of natural teeth.
Types of Bridges
Porcelain fused to metal is a high strength tooth-colored bridge. The PFM is stronger as compared to an all-ceramic bridge due to its metal core that can be made from several materials. In a majority of bridges, the metal core is created with gold or platinum with varying percentages. An all-ceramic bridge is the most striking of all bridges. However, it is not the most durable one. Corresponding to the kind of materials used for the all-ceramic bridge, the translucency is usually excellent.
A complete gold bridge is made of gold and naturally appears like gold. Only high quality metal is used for constructing gold bridges and it is less likely to cause sensitivities or allergies. These bridges are durable and are indicated on back teeth with low visibility.
The Process of Getting a Dental Bridge
During a visit, the dentist assesses the health of your teeth and gums to evaluate whether dental bridges will work for you. Once that is confirmed, you will be given a local anesthetic so they can prepare the teeth needed to support the bridge. For decayed or broken support teeth, the dentist may need to restore them before they can serve as support teeth for a bridge.
There are a few steps involved in getting a bridge. Initially, your teeth are contoured and a part of enamel is detached to create space for a new crown. Subsequently, tooth impressions are taken as models for the pontics and crowns. You might have to wear a temporary bridge while a permanent bridge is crafted during this time. The new bridge will be adjusted and fitted at the next visit. For making sure the bridge is functioning properly and is a good fit, you may require a few dental checkups.
Cost of Dental Bridges
Based on the patient’s distinctive factors, dental bridges can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,500 per tooth. The general cost of a bridge can depend on these factors:
• The material used to make it (metal alloy, porcelain or composite resin, zirconia, etc.)
• The position of and number of teeth being replaced in your mouth
• Current state of the nearby teeth
• The experience and fee of your dentist
For Maryland (resin bonded) bridges, the expenditure for each wing can be from $250 to $550, whereas each replacement tooth can cost somewhere around $600 to $1,200. The traditional or cantilever bridges can be from $700 to $1,500 per unit. A three-unit bridge can cost from $2,100 to $4,500.
Caring for Dental Bridges
Once the dental bridge has been cemented in place, the dentist will guide you regarding the proper hygiene and care to sustain the performance and durability of your bridge, as well as the health of your gums and teeth. You will need a special bridge floss threader for effectively flossing the area around your bridge. This prevents any bacteria and plaque build-up when used thoroughly. Good brushing habits guarantee more durable results.
Bridgework has to be taken care of and for that you have to add a few tools to your oral hygiene routine. Apart from the dental floss threader mentioned above, you need to keep your bridgework area clean by using flexible brushes. Water jet devices take care of tiny food particles that are trapped beneath bridgework. Make sure you ask your dentist about all oral care products you should be using to take care of your resin or porcelain bridge.
For all removable bridges, gentle handling is required at all times. As porcelain is a brittle substance, it can easily chip off when handled roughly. Don’t drop it on hard surfaces. Moreover, you should use toothpastes and mouthwashes that are especially manufactured for dentures. Your dentist will probably give you a few instructions to take care of your bridgework. Don’t forget to contact your dentist in case you face any inconvenience, implying that a bridge is no longer a fit:
• Trouble in chewing your food
• Slackening of detachable bridgework
• Jaw pain
• Raw spots on the tissues surrounding the bridge
• Trouble speaking properly
Durability of Teeth Bridges
A dental bridge is likely to endure 15 years of use or even more, provided that you practice good oral hygiene. It helps to frequently visit your dentist for regular dental examinations.
Living with a Dental Bridge
Dental bridges actually make speaking and eating easier. Patients are advised to stick to soft foods for just a few days after the process as you begin to adjust to the new fixture.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges offer a number of significant benefits apart from filling the gaps in your teeth. They efficiently
• Restore a perfect smile
• Help you speak and chew properly
• Maintain a balanced facial shape
• Provide a fixed solution over removable dentures