Dentures, dental implants and bridges have been a part of cosmetic dentistry for a long time now. Placing artificial or prosthetic teeth to treat teeth loss is not unheard of anymore.
The question that arises here, however, is about timing, i.e. when do you employ them? The truth is, only your periodontist can answer this most accurately after examining your teeth.
A dental bridge consists of one or more false teeth between two crowns that are fixed to natural teeth on either sides of the gap.
Here are a few points that will help you know more about dental bridges.
1. Which Bridge to Take
Bridges are usually made of porcelain, which is bonded to precious metal. Sometimes other non-precious metals are used in the base for strength. You may choose the material used for your bridge from gold, porcelain fused to metal, or porcelain alone. The material will decide the kind of reduction required for the neighboring teeth.
On examination, your dentist will advise you the treatment required for your teeth structure. In the traditional method, a crown is created for the artificial tooth on either sides of the gap. The structure has a suspended tooth, called a pontic, in between two crowns that replaces the gap. This kind of bridge is generally designed by fusing porcelain to metal or ceramics.
Maryland bonded bridges are frequently preferred in cosmetic dentistry because the structure is made of porcelain, making it appear similar to the adjacent teeth. This method allows the tissues underneath the gum to heal. Metal or porcelain structures are attached from each side of the bridge to your existing teeth.
Cantilever bridges are used when there is just a single tooth next to the gap to support the bridge. They are used in rare situations and are not recommended for gaps in the back of the mouth. They can further pressurize the molars and further damage them.
2. Before Signing up for a Bridge
Before deciding on dental bridges, make sure you have clarity on the treatment. It is advisable to consult an expert local dentist in this field. For instance, you may want to visit periodontists practicing general dentistry in Boston if you stay in Massachusetts.
Your dentist will resolve most queries, beginning from the cost of the treatment, the after care, and the probable risks involved. The cost of dental bridges is based on the type of bridge and the procedure selected. Part of your treatment cost may be covered by dental insurance, based on the dental plan.
If you have tooth decay or a cracked tooth, you may have been recommended tooth extraction. For people with a gap due to tooth extraction, it is advisable to allow the gums to heal for about 6 months before going for a dental bridge. In the meantime, you may opt for a denture to cover the gap.
3. How to Care for the Bridge
Daily oral care is needed for maintaining oral hygiene and is crucial for people suffering from dental conditions. To avoid gum diseases, you will have to keep your bridges clean at all times as they are prone to infection. In order to enhance the longevity of your dental bridge, you need to keep the surrounding teeth strong with constant care.
The surface under the dental bridge allows dirt to get accumulated and form plaque. Hence, you should frequently floss between the artificial and natural tooth. As part of your dental hygiene routine, brush twice a day, and floss and use an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day. This will prevent tooth decay and gum diseases that can lead to further tooth loss. After placing the bridge, visit your dentist for regular cleaning as this will help diagnose problems at an early stage.
4. Benefits of Bridging
Bridgework is a boon for patients troubled by tooth loss. People with tooth decay, abscess or a cracked tooth can opt for this method as dental bridges will enhance the overall dental condition. It, therefore, becomes necessary to treat such ailments. Introducing artificial teeth can restore the functionality of your teeth and preserve facial aesthetics. Replacing the gap caused by tooth loss also helps maintain teeth alignment and prevents weakening of natural teeth.
Make sure that follow a healthy dental regimen regularly and visit your dentist at least twice a year to enjoy the benefits of your bridgework.
5. Be Aware of Consequences
Dental Bridges have been successful at resolving problems of tooth loss. However, there are a few consequences you need to bear in mind. During the procedure, the adjacent teeth will undergo reduction process where certain layers of the tooth enamel will be removed to accommodate the crown. This process may weaken the surrounding teeth and make them susceptible to severe difficulties.
Also, placing artificial teeth is not always a viable solution. Bridgework requires support from the neighboring natural teeth. In case of less bone density in the adjacent teeth, you may be advised not to opt for prosthetics. Smoking and over-consumption of tea or coffee are also responsible for reducing the bone content in gums.
Another risk involved with bridges is that without regular cleaning, the seal between the crown and the adjacent teeth can attract bacteria and decay.
All these risks, however, can be mitigated if you visit an experienced dentist, who will guide you all through your treatment.
Dental bridgework is not just about general dentistry, but involves aesthetic improvement. With multiple procedures available to replace missing teeth, you no longer need to worry about the gaps between them. The points above will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to go for artificial teeth.