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What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are artificial replacements of missing teeth. They contain three or more units that fill the gap left by a missing tooth. Dental bridges are fixed restorations that contain crowns(also called abutments) that take support from adjacent teeth and the artificial teeth(called pontic) to replace the missing teeth. Since dental bridges are fixed, they cannot be easily removed at home.
Dental bridges are extremely routine procedures that are performed by our team at Sabka Dentist clinics. Let’s understand more about them.
Why Should You Get a Dental Bridge?
A large majority of people wonder “Why should I replace a missing tooth?”, especially when they are able to eat comfortably and are not bothered about the aesthetics due to the missing tooth.
But, did you know, even one missing tooth can disturb the balance in your mouth? Well, it is true!
Here’s what happens if you do not replace one or more missing teeth:
- Your bite gets deranged
- Food lodgment occurs in the gap created by the missing tooth
- Alignment problems arise as teeth start moving into the space
- Subsequent chewing problems
- Pain in the jaw due to increased biting force on the teeth
- Speech problems as your tongue comes in contact with your teeth to allow you to speak properly
Apart from these physiologic changes, people who have missing front teeth increasingly become conscious about the gap, that can affect their mental health too.
What Does a Dental Bridge Look Like?
In the mouth, a dental bridge is often unnoticeable when done well. However, every bridge has the following two parts:
- One or more pontics
- One or more abutments
A pontic is that part of the bridge that replaces the missing tooth/teeth. Abutment is that part of a dental bridge that are crowns placed on the adjacent teeth to anchor or support the dental bridge. For example, in order to replace one missing tooth, one pontic and two abutments on the adjacent teeth are required. This makes it a 3-unit bridge.
Types of Dental Bridges
Based on the type of connection between the pontic and abutments, dental bridges can be of four types:
- Traditional Bridges – These are the most common type of bridges used to replace missing teeth. In these bridges, there are two or more pontics that replace the missing teeth and crowns on two abutment teeth on both sides support the prosthesis and keep the bridge in place. These dental bridges can be made of metal, porcelain fused to metal, or fully ceramic.
- Cantilever Bridges – As the name goes, cantilever dental bridges are similar to cantilever bridges wherein, the bridge is fixed to just one abutment. This bridge is usually recommended when you have teeth only on one side of the gap.
- Maryland Bridges – These bridges are usually found to replace missing front teeth. In this case, the pontic is made from ceramic or metal-ceramic and has wings that extend from the bridge on to the abutment teeth.
- Implant-Supported Bridges – These bridges look very similar to the traditional bridges with the only difference being that in the case of traditional bridges, the abutments are your own natural teeth, whereas in case of implant-supported bridges, the abutments are implants.
When you visit our dental clinics, our dentists will evaluate the condition of your teeth and suggest the best dental bridge for you.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
There is no doubt that dental bridges have many benefits. These include:
- Restoration of your bite and aesthetics
- Prevent collapsing of bite
- Prevent movement of teeth into the gap of the missing teeth, thereby maintaining teeth alignment
- Prevent speech problems
- Balance the biting forces on your jaw joint, preventing joint troubles
What Does Getting a Dental Bridge Involve?
Now that you know how essential replacement of missing teeth with dental bridges is, do you know what the process of getting one is?
- Evaluation and clinical assessment: After a complete medical and dental history is taken by your dentist, they will evaluate your teeth, gums, and bone support to determine the best treatment option for you.
- Primary impression: This is the first measurement made of your teeth and gums and used to make study casts.
- Diagnostic wax up: Your dentist will make wax models of the bridge that he/she wishes to make for you. This will help you visualize how your final bridge is likely to look like.
- Preparation of abutment teeth: Your abutment teeth are those which support your dental bridge. For traditional dental bridges, your dentist determines a path of placement of the bridge and shapes the teeth accordingly to maintain your bite, contact with adjacent and opposing teeth, etc.
- Final impression making: In this next step, your dentist makes the final or master impression of the shaped teeth and adjacent structures, along with the structures in the opposing arch.
This impression is now sent to the lab for the fabrication of your final dental bridge. This step is very important as a poor measurement can affect the fitting of your dental bridge.
- Bite recording: Your dentist will now record your bite, i.e., the way your upper and lower teeth come in contact with each other when static and in various biting movements. This is used while fabricating the dental bridge.
- Fixing of temporary crowns: Until your final dental bridge is fixed, your abutment teeth are covered with temporary crowns.
- Trial of permanent bridge: Your permanent bridge arrives in 2-3 days after the final impression is made and this needs to be tried in your mouth before it can be fixed permanently.
- Final placement of dental bridge: Once your dental bridge is acceptable by your dentist and you, it will be fixed permanently using a strong adhesive cement. Your dental bridge treatment is now complete.
How Do You Maintain Your Dental Bridge?
Once fixed, the dental bridge now becomes a part of your oral cavity and functions just like the other teeth. This also means that you need to take extra care of your bridge, including routine brushing, dental flossing, and visiting your dentist twice a year for teeth cleaning.
Since dental bridges are made from artificial materials, they tend to gather more dirt and deposits as compared to your natural teeth, therefore requiring extra care.
Also, to ensure your dental bridge lasts long and in good condition, you may be advised to avoid biting into very hard foods like nuts, popcorn, caramel, etc., using your bridge.
What is the Cost of a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are the best and the most affordable way to replace missing teeth. The cost of a dental bridge depends upon various factors such as– type of dental bridge, number of abutments and pontics, and the material chosen. To know more about the cost, head to your closest Sabka Dentist clinic for an evaluation.
With modern dental treatments, materials and procedures, your missing teeth can be easily and comfortably replaced with dental bridges. Say good-bye to chewing troubles and bad aesthetics due to missing teeth. Visit your nearest Sabka Dentist clinic and walk away with a beautiful smile!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 3 unit dental bridge?
A Three Unit Dental Bridge consists of the following components:
- Retainer: A crown i.e. used as part of fixed partial denture for retention and support from abutment tooth is called a Retainer.
- Abutment: It is any tooth, root or implant, which gives attachment and support to fixed partial denture.
- Pontic: Pontic is the artificial tooth that replaces a missing tooth in a fixed partial denture. Pontics are attached to retainers. All the forces acting on the pontic are transferred to abutment through the retainers.
- Connector: It is the connection that exists between the pontic and retainer. They may be rigid or non rigid.
Are dental bridges removable?
No. Dental bridges are fixed partial dentures that are cemented to natural teeth or roots, which furnish the primary support to the prosthesis.