A dental bridge is one of the possibilities for filling up the space left by missing teeth. These artificial (false) teeth will help improve a person’s oral look as adversely affected by the missing tooth or teeth. A dental bridge also plays the functional role of protecting the remaining teeth from extra stress caused by the missing tooth.
Depending on the impact of the missing tooth on the mouth and other factors, a dentist may consider a dental bridge as the best option for replacing a missing tooth. More about dental bridges is discussed in this Dental Health Directory’s dental treatment article. So, read on to discover more.
The Look of a Typical Dental Bridge
There are various kinds of dental bridges as discussed in the next section. However, a typical dental bridge consists of the pontic and the abutment teeth. The latter may either be a dental implant or natural teeth.
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Either as dental implants or natural teeth, it plays a supportive role for false teeth. To be properly supported, the pontic would have an abutment tooth on both sides. It is also fixed to the crown. So, crowns provide added support.
What Are the Types of Dental Bridges?
There are four basic options and they are:
Traditional Fixed Type
It can be made with ceramic, plain metal, or even porcelain and metal. It is quite common and involves the connection between no fewer than two crowns and filler teeth or just a tooth. The crowns help in holding the bridge down. In other words, crowns provide structural support by ensuring bridges remain in the right place.
It is also known as the Maryland dental bridge. Word out there is that the name is because the idea came from a University in this area.
While the traditional allows for the use of various make-ups like ceramics, the Maryland type only allows for the use of porcelain connected to metal. It requires that the bridge is bonded to existing teeth on either side with wings.
Its peculiarity is the connection of the bridge to just an abutment tooth. People with teeth on just one side of their gap can consider this type of bridge.
There are loads of similarities between this bridge and the traditional fixed type. The distinction with this one is that implants hold it in place. This is rather than being cemented in place. If a dental bridge is needed, your dentist is also in a good position to figure out the best of the four basic types.
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Step-by-Step Dental Bridge Procedure
More often than not, patients would need to have at least 2 appointments with their dentist:
Shaping of the Dentin and Enamel
The first appointment would be dedicated to the preparation of the artificial teeth. Part of the dentin and enamel will have to be removed for this purpose. The goal is to help the crown in supporting the eventual bridge.
Scan or Mold for Bridge Creation
Either a digital scan or impressions are taken for this purpose. The goal is to create a bridge that fits perfectly. Areas like your gum and other parts of your oral cavity are taken into consideration. Also, a temporal bridge is used in the meantime to protect exposed areas of your mouth.
This would either happen during your second appointment or a subsequent appointment. At this point, the permanent bridge as informed by the digital scan or impressions must have been created. The procedure will involve taking out the temporary bridge first, before inserting the permanent one. Your comfort while on the bridge will also be taken into consideration. If need be, adjustments will be made.