Losing a tooth is inevitable throughout your lifetime. As a matter of fact, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons report the number of teeth we lose increases as we age. Normally, a feeling of embarrassment is associated with missing a tooth. Thanks to the innovation of dental treatments, dental bridges can recoup your self-confidence.
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are the perfect alternative for tooth replacements and to dentures. While these can give you back your natural smile, they also lower the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay. Basically, a dental bridge is a prosthesis that plugs the open spaces in your mouth caused by missing teeth. It is attached to one of your existing teeth and fastened into shape – thus, bridging the aperture and resulting in a full and seemingly natural smile.
Available Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are made of metal and porcelain, or occasionally from porcelain alone. There are three basic types of dental bridges. Here at Aquario Dental, we encourage our patients to select the dental bridge that best matches their needs. These can be the traditional, cantilever or Maryland Bonded.
- Traditional – Traditional bridges are the most common dental bridges, in which a crown will be created for the teeth that are in between the gap. The dentist normally reframes the neighboring teeth to clear the way for the bridge.
- Cantilever – Cantilever bridges are administered when the abutment teeth are situated on only one side of the lost tooth or in the parts of your mouth where there is less tension. Unlike traditional bridges that crown two teeth, only the tooth close to the space is crowned in a cantilever bridge. Over the years, this type of bridge has become less of a trend, yet cantilever bridges are still an excellent alternative since it preserves the tooth structure more.
- Maryland Bonded – Maryland Bonded bridges are based on the idea of researchers from the University of Maryland, hence the name. Experts in oral health care describe this type of bridge as a resin-bonded bridge. It is used solely in the anterior of the mouth, which has a softer bite. Fixing a Maryland Bonded bridge requires very little modification on the adjacent teeth. Here, two small wings, which can be metal or porcelain, are joined to the abutting teeth.
Getting a Dental Bridge
After the initial assessment and consultation, the next step in getting a bridge would be preparing the adjacent teeth where the bridge will be attached. Depending on the type of bridge, the preparation entails reshaping the teeth by taking out a part of the enamel to make way to the crown. Since making the bridge will take some time, one of our dentists will protect the open spaces with a temporary bridge.
On your next visit, the temporary bridge will be replaced with a metal or porcelain bridge. It will be checked and tuned so that it fits perfectly in your mouth. Depending on each patient’s case, our dentists recommend follow-up appointments to ensure the fit is truly perfect. Your dentist may cement the bridge for a while to ensure it is tightly fitted before permanently fixing it in place.
Cost Consideration for a Dental Bridge
The cost of a dental bridge differs depending on the type of dental bridge, the country or state where it is performed, and the expertise of the dentist. But here at Aquario Dental, we assure you that you will get your money’s worth.
Usually, a dental bridge has a lifespan of 10 years or so if it is taken care of properly. With regular dental visits and good oral hygiene, your dental bridge will last until or longer than its expected lifespan. Remember to always brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to fend off tooth decay and gum diseases.