Dental bridges are sets of false teeth that help bridge a gap created by a missing tooth or teeth. Gaps in the teeth can be dangerous to your mouth. They can result in shifting of other teeth or an offset bite. This can be painful and make every day chewing difficult. The bridge utilizes the surrounding teeth as anchors to hold false tooth in place. Usually the pontic, also known as the false tooth, will be fused in between the surrounding teeth with crowns.
Types of dental bridges
Three types of dental bridges are primarily used today:
1. Traditional fixed bridge - This is the most common type of dental bridge, which entails porcelain crowns are placed over the two surrounding teeth and used as anchors to hold the false tooth in place. The false tooth is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
2. Cantilever bridge – This method is used when teeth are present on only one side of the gap. They are used typically in areas of your mouth that do not experience an intense chewing load, such as your front teeth.
3. Resin-bonded bridge - Metal bands are bonded to the surrounding teeth with resin and used to hold a plastic false tooth in place. This type of bridge is typically used in areas of the mouth that undergo less stress, such as the front teeth.
How it's done:
Despite what dental bridge option you and your dentist choose it will take two visits. At the first visit, the surrounding teeth by the gap will be fitted for crowns. In order to fit the crowns properly, some adjustments are often made. Such as some filing down of the teeth in order for the crowns to fit. Following this, the impression of the teeth is sent off to a dental laboratory so the bridge and crowns can be molded. Last, you will be fitted with a temporary bridge in order to protect the teeth until your next appointment.
At your follow-up visit, the permanent bridge from the laboratory will be fitted, adjusted and placed. It may take several visits to have the bridge fitted perfectly. This ensures you are the most comfortable with the final touches.
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