A dental bridge is a term used to describe an appliance that is used to bridge a gap created when one or more teeth are missing. The bridge will be made of two or more crowns for the teeth that will sit on either side of the gap. Known as anchoring teeth, the natural teeth act as an anchor with a false tooth located in between. With a dental bridge, the teeth can function again normally, allowing patients to feel more confident in their smile. Here at Colin M. McKinney, DMD, we can help with all types of dental bridge needs, ensuring a better smile for every patient.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
There are several benefits to a dental bridge, aside from restoring your smile. A dental bridge can restore the ability to chew and speak properly. When teeth are missing, it can make it difficult to talk or chew. Once the bridge has been added, these abilities are restored.
The shape of the face can also be maintained with a dental bridge. Our patients are often surprised to see how their face shape changes when teeth are missing. As teeth are missing, other teeth can drift out of position or the jaw features change. With a dental bridge, remaining natural teeth are unable to shift, and the face shape does not change.
Types of Dental Bridges
In general, there are three main types of bridges that we use to restore your smile; a traditional bridge, a cantilever bridge, and a Maryland bonded bridge. Each offers certain benefits and are used in certain scenarios.
With a traditional bridge, the piece will involve a crown for the tooth beside the missing tooth or an implant. A false tooth will be added in-between for the empty space. This is the most common type of bridge and used most often with porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
A cantilever bridge will be used when there are teeth adjacent to the missing area, but only one is present. This option is not very common anymore and is never used at the back of the mouth as it can damage other teeth.
Made from porcelain or porcelain fused to metal, a Maryland bonded bridge will be supported by a framework that is created from porcelain or metal. Wings are often added to one side of the bridge in metal or porcelain and bonded to the remaining teeth.
Dental Bridge Process
When you arrive for your first visit for a dental bridge, the teeth next to the missing area are prepared. This can include recontouring to make room for the crown. Impressions are then made to create a model for the bridge. A temporary bridge will be put into place before you leave to protect the exposed gums and trimmed teeth while a lab creates your new bridge.
Once ready, the new bridge will be installed, checked, and adjusted as needed. We will want to be sure that you have a proper fit. At this time, we also help you learn more about caring for the dental appliance. For more information about dental bridges, call the experienced professionals here at Colin M. McKinney, DMD at (772) 266-2223 today!