Dental bridges are used to “bridge” the gap between one or more missing teeth. Most are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented directly onto the existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a professional dentist. A bridge generally consists of two crowns, one on each side of the missing tooth space, and a false tooth to fill in the gap is then attached to the crowns. The crowned teeth on either side of the missing tooth are called abutment teeth, and essentially anchor the false tooth down. Charlotte, NC residents interested in bridges can visit our dental clinic for treatment.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL BRIDGES?
Having one or more missing teeth can cause the remaining natural teeth to shift or rotate in the mouth, resulting in a poor bite, gum disease, and various other disorders. A bridge can fill in these gaps to avoid complications down the road due to missing teeth. The primary benefits of dental bridges include:
- A more aesthetically-pleasing smile
- Increased ability to speak and chew foods
- Improvement in face shape
- Proper bite placement
- Prevention of remaining teeth moving out of position
WHAT TYPES OF DENTAL BRIDGES ARE AVAILABLE?
There are three basic types of dental bridges available: traditional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges, and Maryland bonded bridges. Traditional fixed bridges include porcelain fused to metal or ceramic crowns with a filler tooth or teeth in-between. Cantilever bridges are used on patients who have natural teeth on only one side of the gap. Maryland bonded bridges are constructed of porcelain fused to metal, and feature metal “wings” on each side of the bridge, which are bonded to the natural teeth.
WHAT IS IT LIKE AFTER GETTING A BRIDGE?
Most patients find that it’s easier to eat and speak after getting a dental bridge, compared to having missing teeth. However, getting used to the device in your mouth takes time. Therefore, it’s best to stick with small bites of soft food until you become accustomed to chewing. With proper oral hygiene and regular checkups, a dental bridge can last anywhere from five to fifteen years or more.
For more information about dental bridges or to make an appointment with our Charlotte Restorative Dentistry today.