Dental bridges are a type of dental restoration that fills the gaps left by missing teeth in the jaw. Dental bridges also address decayed or broken teeth to improve your smile. These bridges consist of two or more crowns that attach on either side of the gap. The dentist then cements the prosthetic teeth between these crowns.
Dental bridges have been used for over 2,000 years. The ancient Etruscans used gold wire to secure human teeth together, creating the first dental bridges.
The dentist first examines your teeth to check whether you’re a perfect fit for the treatment. This involves taking impressions and X-rays of the teeth to create a custom treatment plan for your teeth. The dentist also removes the enamel from teeth on either side of the teeth to prepare for the bridge.
The dentist will take impressions of your teeth by fitting a tray filled with a putty-like material on your teeth. These impressions are sent to a lab to create your dental bridge. Meanwhile, the dentist will give you temporary bridges to protect the teeth.
Once the bridges arrive, the dentist will schedule an appointment for the fitting. They’ll check the fit and make any adjustments if needed. If they fit, they’ll use an adhesive material to cement the bridges in place for a secure fit and natural look.
After ensuring the bridges fit perfectly, the dentist will schedule at least two follow-up visits to ensure everything is okay and to address any discomfort you may feel. You’ll also receive instructions on how to care for your bridges, including what foods to eat and what medication to take.
This is the most common type of bridge treatment for two or more missing teeth in either jaw. It consists of two crowns and pontics. These bridges are either made of metal, ceramics, or a combination of porcelain and metal.
This is a type of bridge that requires only one tooth to secure the bridge. It’s ideal in cases where patients only have one tooth adjacent to the bridge. The dentist fixes the pontic in the missing teeth gap and secures it to the adjacent tooth.
Implant-supported functions like regular bridges except they’re supported by dental implants instead of crowns. The bridges replace both the teeth and their roots. This stimulates jaw bone growth, preventing bone degeneration.
This type of dental bridge is ideal for people with missing front teeth (incisors). It’s primarily made from porcelain and ceramic and consists of floating teeth to replace the missing ones. However, unlike regular bridges, these use a metal framework closely resembling a flying bat with the front tooth at the center and wings to the sides.
Dental bridges can improve your speech. Missing teeth can affect your ability to pronounce certain words and sounds, but a dental bridge can help restore your speech.
If you take good care of your teeth, dental bridges last for up to seven years. This means scheduling regular dental cleanings and checkups to ensure the structural integrity of your bridges.
Dental bridges are not just for humans. Veterinarians also use dental bridges to replace missing teeth in dogs, cats, and other animals.