Dental bridges, your path to better health and a confident smile
If you have missing teeth that are ruining the aesthetics of your smile, we at Jonathan J. Golab, DDS, PA can restore your smile to its former glory.
A bridge is a non-surgical way to replace one or many teeth. A bridge uses the adjacent teeth as anchors to support the missing tooth or teeth. With today’s dental advancements, a bridge can be fabricated in a fairly short period of time, using a metal or nonmetal foundation. Don’t let that missing tooth affect the way you speak, eat, and smile. Bridges yield immediate results that last a lifetime. Ask your dentist what type of bridge may be right for you.
A dental bridge is made up of a false tooth or multiple false teeth, also known as pontics, held in place by the adjacent abutment teeth. Pontics are typically made of porcelain to give your smile a natural look, even though they can be made from a variety of other materials, including metal, such as gold, as well.
Why You Need a Dental Bridge
Your missing teeth can result in several physical changes in your mouth. A dental bridge can help you by:
- Restoring your smile.
- Restoring the ability to chew and speak properly.
- Adjusting your mouth so that the chewing force is distributed equally.
- Preventing your teeth from moving out of position.
- Maintaining the contours and shape of your face.
Types of Dental Bridges
Here are the most common type of dental bridges:
Traditional Dental Bridges
A traditional dental bridge consists of a false tooth or teeth being anchored in place by crowns that have been placed on the adjacent teeth on both sides of the gap. The major downside of this type of dental bridge is that we will need to remove the enamel of your healthy natural teeth on both sides of the gap to accommodate the crown. Since enamel cannot grow back, this process is irreversible, and your teeth will always need the protection of a crown, even if you choose a different type of restorative dentistry option someday.
Cantilever Dental Bridges
A cantilever dental bridge is similar to a traditional dental bridge with the exception that it is held in place by a single abutment tooth, eroded down to accommodate a crown. That means it is less damaging than a traditional dental bridge which requires the preparation of two teeth, one on either side of the gap.
However, since a cantilever bridge is supported on only one side, extra pressure on it can result in a loosened or cracked bridge, a loosened crown, or a fractured abutment tooth.
Maryland Dental Bridges
Maryland bridges also employ the use of two abutment teeth on either side of the gap like a traditional dental bridge. However, instead of eroding down the abutment teeth to fit a crown, Maryland bridges use a porcelain or metal framework that can be cemented to the back of the abutment teeth.
The advantage of this kind of dental bridge is that it does not require your healthy teeth to be scaled down. However, the strength of the bridge is only determined by the strength of the resin that bonds its framework to the abutment teeth. Therefore, Maryland dental bridges should only be used to replace the front teeth which are not subjected to a large biting force. Patients sometimes also complain that the framework feels bulky and gets in the way of the bite.
Caring For Your Dental Bridges
You can make your dental bridges last a longer time by taking certain precautions:
- Make sure your bridge is comfortable and fits perfectly before you leave the office.
- Avoid very hard food as that exerts a lot of pressure on the bridge or very sticky food that can loosen the bridge framework or crowns.
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush designed to access hard-to-reach areas. Also, floss daily.
- Rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash after every meal.
- Make sure you do not miss any checkup appointments to ensure the health of your dental bridge.
If you have missing teeth and feel like a dental bridge can help you, contact us at (469) 444-7919 so that Dr. Jonathan Golab can recommend a treatment plan for you.