Dentistry covers a myriad of dental works, not to mention dental appliances. All work together to accomplish healthy mouths of patients. Even so, dentistry is not just about the functional bit of the mouth. The cosmetic approach of teeth is covered under cosmetic dentistry. Some dental treatments like dental bridges fall under both restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
What Are Dental Bridges?
They are appliances used in dentistry to close up gaps caused by missing teeth. They feature an artificial tooth that is supported by other appliances to form a bridge between the remaining teeth in the mouth, hence closing the gap. Dental bridges are an alternative to using dentures and are particularly used for a few missing teeth.
Dental Bridges Use Case
It is easy to consider dental bridges as merely useful for restoring missing teeth. However, in understanding how much of a loss it is to have missing teeth, you will better appreciate the uses of dental bridges. The following sum up some of the benefits of dental bridges, which inspire their use in both restorative and cosmetic dentistry:
- Restoring your smile – gives you a cosmetic advantage when all your teeth are in place. Besides, you can choose a dental bridge that closest matches the color of your natural teeth.
- Preventing shifting of teeth – teeth tend to move when there is a space unoccupied.
- Improving comfort – missing a tooth can make it uncomfortable, especially when it comes to chewing food. Bridges restore your ability to chew properly without hurting your gums.
- Maintaining the shape of your face – Teeth play a significant role in framing your face when you have more than one tooth missing, your face tends to wrinkle, distorting your aesthetic appeal.
Types of Dental Bridges
A typical dental crown is made up of a pontic and one or two dental crowns. The different types of oral bridges are marked by the composition of the bridge as is the case below:
- Traditional bridges – they feature an artificial tooth sandwiched between two dental crowns. The crowns are worn over the adjacent teeth, acting as the support system for the pontic filling the gap of the lost tooth. These are the most common types of dental bridges.
- Cantilever bridges – they feature an artificial tooth attached to a single dental crown. These come in handy when the patient has only one adjacent tooth to offer support to the bridge. For this reason, they are not very strong. It is also the reason why they are mostly used for front teeth, and highly discouraged for the back teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges – they differ from all other types of dental bridges. They feature porcelain materials fused to metal frameworks. The metal offers support to the pontic used in replacing the missing tooth.
About Dental Bridges Procedure
On the first dental visit, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth. This will allow for the creation of the perfect dental bridge. The next step involves shaving off the enamel of the adjacent tooth/teeth. The enamel has to be removed to create room for the dental crown. Afterward, you will have temporary dental crowns placed on your tooth/teeth as you wait for yours to be manufactured.
The next dental visit will involve the installation of the dental bridge. It is first fitted on your teeth to confirm its fit. It is then later attached to your teeth through the dental bonding process.
How Long Do They Last?
The longevity of bridges lies between 5-15 years. With proper care, however, they can last even longer. Besides, given that your dental insurance will cover part of the costs of dental bridges, it is a great deal for you. The type of dental bridge you choose will ultimately determine the costs as well as the durability of the bridge.
Dental Bridges vs Dental Implants
Bridges are different from dental implants because of what the process Entails. Ideally, dental implants are replacements of the roots of teeth, while bridges replace the exterior part of the tooth.
Even then, dental implants can be used alongside dental bridges, especially in cases of multiple missing teeth. If you have no adjacent teeth on the target area, it is hard for your dentist to replace your tooth. Dental Implants provide the needed support to accomplish this.