Individuals suffering from damaged or unsightly teeth may benefit from receiving dental crowns. This straightforward and relatively common procedure can help restore the look and function of healthy, natural teeth. While a variety of components may be used to form dental crowns based on the patient's individual preferences and needs, the installation process is usually…
Why You Need a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is one of the options you have at your disposal when dealing with a missing or badly-damaged tooth that is not healthy enough to be crowned. Dental bridges are a permanent solution, and they are a more convenient option than getting dentures.
What is a dental bridge?
This prosthetic consists of a set of teeth that cover a gap in the patient's smile, creating a bridge over the space. Hence the name. Bridges are typically attached to crowns that are placed on the two teeth that are closest to the gap on both sides. The anchor crowns are called abutments while the artificial teeth are called pontics.
Bridges are usually used when a patient is missing one or more teeth. The device helps to restore the person's smile and the pontics look just like natural teeth. A bridge also helps to restore normal tooth functions like speaking and chewing. It helps to prevent the remaining natural teeth from shifting since teeth tend to move towards any gaps in a person's smile in an attempt to fill it. This can lead to bite alignment issues if the gap is not filled with a prosthetic.
If there is only one tooth on one side of the gap, a different type of prosthetic known as a cantilever bridge is used. This is not as stable as a bridge with two anchors, but it can be used to fill up a gap in the patient's smile. The second option would be to use a Maryland-bonded bridge. This is similar to a cantilever bridge, but instead of only being secured by a single tooth, the bridge is held in place by metal wings that are attached to a series of teeth on one side of the gap. A Maryland-bonded bridge is more secure than a cantilever one.
How bridges are installed
It typically takes two visits to the dentist to have dental bridges installed, but some dentists can complete the process in a single visit using CEREC technology.
During the initial appointment, the dentist will make an impression of the patient's teeth. This impression is then sent to a lab where the bridge is made if CEREC is not available. The dentist will also prepare the abutment teeth for the placement of the crown. The crown can also be made with CEREC or sent to a lab for manufacture.
The patient is normally fitted with a temporary bridge after the first appointment. During the second appointment, crowns are attached to the abutment teeth and the permanent bridge is installed.
Sometimes, an implant is installed before a bridge is fitted if there is no tooth that can be used as an abutment on one side of the gap. An implant is a titanium rod that is surgically inserted into the patient's jawbone. One the implant has been given time to properly fuse with the jaw, a crown is placed on it so that it can be used as an abutment.
Tired of having a gap in your smile? Schedule a consultation to learn more about solutions like a dental bridge with one of our dentists today!
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Trophy Smile Studio, request an appointment in our Trophy Club dental office here: https://trophysmilestudio.com. Or call us at (817) 210-4049.
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