A dental bridge is a row or pair of crowns that bridge the gap of missing teeth. Losing teeth can impact your self-confidence, comfort while eating, gum health, and straightness of your teeth in the future. Treating lost teeth is important in preventing unwanted orthodontic issues. Consult one of our dentists at Division Smiles Family Dental to see if a bridge is the right procedure for restoring your missing teeth.
Dental bridges have two components: abutments, and pontics. Abutments are anchors that a crown or bridge attaches to. With bridges, the abutments are the teeth neighboring the gap. Crowns are placed over the abutments, securing the bridge in place. Pontics are artificial teeth attached to the crowns, replacing the missing tooth.
Types of Bridges
Dental bridges can be made from metal, ceramics, or porcelain fused to metal. The bridge's size and structure depend on its placement on the jaw. Bridges are usually used for front teeth, as bite pressure near the molars can lead to chipping. Fixed bridges are the most common type of bridge, it consists of one or two abutments and a pontic tooth. It is highly rare for bridges to replace more than four teeth. Cantilever bridges consist of a single pontic and a single abutment.
Resin-bonded bridges also called Maryland dental bridges consist of pontics supported by a framework instead of an abutment. Ceramic or metal wings on each side of the bridge bond to the back of its neighboring teeth. Implant-supported bridges use dental implants to serve as abutments.
Alternative Dental Procedures
Dental bridges are a restorative dental procedure. We understand that they may not be the best option for all of our patients. Depending on your insurance, restorative dental procedures can be costly, and a consultation with your dentist and insurance provider may be necessary. There are a few alternatives to bridges available. Partial dentures and dental implants are common alternatives. Sustained oral hygiene and biannual dental exams are key in preventing tooth loss, and tooth decay, and avoiding the necessity for any restorative dental procedure.
Installing a Dental Bridge
Installing a dental bridge takes at least two appointments. In your initial visit, the teeth serving as abutments are reshaped. Part of the enamel and dentin layer is removed to make room for the crowns. A digital scan or impression of your teeth is made. In most cases, you will have a temporary bridge installed and be sent home. A dental lab will use your dental scan or impression to fabricate your bridge. Once your bridge is ready, the temporary bridge is removed and your new bridge is installed. Small adjustments will be made to ensure the perfect fit.
Division Smiles Family Dental is here to provide information and discuss a treatment plan that is right for you. Call us at (971) 978-0293 to schedule a consultation or for more information.