Dental Bridge: Types, Benefits, Cost
A dental bridge helps bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
It consists of two or more crowns for the teeth on both sides of the gap – these anchoring teeth are also known as abutment teeth. Then the false tooth or teeth will be between these anchors. The false teeth are called pontics and can be made from porcelain, alloys, gold, or a combination of these metals. Bridges can be supported by your natural teeth or by implants.
Benefits of a Bridge:
- Smile is restored
- The ability to properly speak and chew your food
- Prevent your other teeth from drifting out of position
- Maintain the shape of your face and jaw line
The Process for a Dental Bridge
First visit – abutment teeth preparation. Abutment teeth, again, are the teeth used to anchor the bridge. These anchors are prepared by removing a portion of the enamel on your natural teeth to allow room for a crown to be placed over them.
Next, your dentist will create impressions of your teeth. These impressions serve as a model for your bridge to be made by a dental lab. While you wait for your permanent bridge, your dentist will create a temporary bridge to wear during that time. It will help protect the exposed gums and teeth while your bridge is being made by the lab.
Second visit – the temporary bridge will be removed and your new permanent bridge will be checked and adjusted to make sure it fits properly. It may be necessary to have multiple visits to check the bite and make sure the metal framework fits properly. This all depends on the needs of the individual. Once it the bridge feels comfortable and your bite feels right, the bridge will be permanently cemented into place.
How Much Does A Bridge Cost?
The cost for a bridge can vary depending on type of bridge, how many teeth your are replacing, and where the procedure is being performed. Dental insurance will typically pay a portion of your procedure depending on the type of dental plan you have.
How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last?
A bridge’s durability can depend on how well you take care of it. They can last five to 15 years or even longer. If you maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly for checkups, it is not unusual for a fixed bridge’s life span to be over 10 years.
Is Eating Difficult With A Dental Bridge?
When you replace your missing teeth, the dental bridge should make eating easier. However, you should cut your food into smaller pieces or eat soft foods while you are becoming accustomed to the bridge.
Will the Dental Bridge Effect How I Talk?
When your teeth are missing, it can be difficult to talk. The placement of a dental bridge can help you speak properly again.
How to Care for a Dental Bridge?
Keeping your teeth healthy and strong will help with the longevity of your bridge. You can create a solid foundation by continuing to brush twice a day, floss, and using antiseptic mouthwash. These simple yet effective hygiene techniques help prevent tooth decay and gum disease which can lead to tooth loss.
If you need assistance with this, your dentist and or dental hygienist can help demonstrate how to brush and floss your teeth properly. Maintaining your regular dental visits can help diagnose issues in early stages when treatment has a better prognosis. Keep in mind, a balanced diet and nutrition is also an important part of oral health.
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