Let’s talk about your biggest questions about a dental bridge.
Fixed partial dentures, or dental bridges, are a great way to replace missing teeth and prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting out of place.
A dental bridge is a kind of fixed dental restoration. It’s used to replace one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are made up of two main parts:
Abutments are the natural teeth or implants that will support the bridge.
Pontics are false teeth that fill the gap between the abutments. If you have a large gap, you’ll need multiple pontics to bridge it.
There are different ways that dental bridges can be attached. Your dentist can help you determine which option is best for you.
Why Do You Need Dental Bridges?
A missing tooth is no joking matter. Unless the fallen tooth is replaced, your other teeth can drift out of position. This will result in an alteration of your bite. It may even cause tooth decay and gum disease over time.
Dental implants are an option to replace missing teeth. However, not everyone is a candidate for this procedure.
Your dentist may recommend a dental bridge if you’re unsuited for implants. Or maybe you just prefer not to get a dental implant, in which case a dental bridge becomes a viable option.
- miss teeth
- experience difficulty chewing or biting
- have pain in your jaw or teeth
- feel insecure about your smile
then a dental bridge may be a good option for you.
Discuss it with your dentist. Talk about your options. And determine which type of dental restoration is best for your needs and preferences.
Remember, keeping all your teeth healthy and well-cared for is important for your overall health and well-being. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. This will ensure that your dental restorations last as long as possible.
Different Types of Dental Bridges : Pros and Cons
Dental bridges help fill the gaps left by missing teeth. But if you are considering dental bridges, you’ll have to figure out which kind to get.
Here are the different types of dental bridges that your dentist may recommend:
Conventional dental bridges are the most common type. They require crowns (retainers) to be attached to the abutment teeth.
The connectors to both retainers can be of two kinds:
- fixed-fixed or
Which one your dentist will select depends on your specific situation. These bridges require the abutment teeth to be parallel to each other.
A cantilever bridge has only one abutment tooth for support instead of two. This type of bridge is ideal for someone with teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or gap.
Implant-supported dental bridges are similar to conventional fixed bridges. But the retainer crowns are placed over dental implants rather than on your natural teeth.
Also known as an adhesive or resin-bonded bridge, a Maryland bridge features wings on either side of the pontic that are attached to your abutment teeth by an adhesive.
This type of bridge doesn’t require crowns on the abutment teeth. For this reason, it is more likely to be used for front teeth. They require less preparation. However, they may not be as secure as conventional bridges.
What Are The Effects of Dental Bridge on Speech?
If you have missing teeth, it can affect your ability to speak clearly.
However, getting a dental bridge can help improve your speech. While you may initially notice some differences in how you talk, you will quickly adapt to the new situation.
Will Dental Bridges Interfere With Eating?
Eating with a dental bridge is usually easier than with missing teeth.
While some people may need time to adjust to the feeling of dental bridges, most individuals find that they can eat normally. It is advisable to eat softer foods while getting accustomed to your new bridge.
How Long Will a Dental Bridge Last?
The lifespan of a dental bridge can vary depending on several factors, such as the
- type of bridge
- materials used, and
- level of maintenance
On average, a dental bridge can last for 5 to 7 years. With proper care, some bridges can last for more than 10 years.
Your dentist can give you more specific information on how long you can expect your dental bridge to last based on your unique situation.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges offer several benefits to improve your oral health and overall quality of life.
Bridges can also improve your smile. By filling in gaps caused by missing teeth, you’ll experience more self-confidence.
Maintain tooth alignment:
Gaps in your teeth make neighboring teeth shift. This leads to crooked or misaligned teeth. Dental bridges maintain the alignment of your teeth and prevent these problems.
Dental bridges can help return your ability to bite and chew properly. Missing teeth interfere with this function. Now dental bridges make it easier to enjoy your favorite foods and maintain a healthy diet.
You may prefer dental bridges over other tooth replacement options like dentures or dental implants for various reasons, such as convenience or cost.
Disadvantages and Risks of Dental Bridges
While dental bridges offer several benefits, they also come with some potential drawbacks and risks.
Dental bridges can create areas that are difficult to clean. This in turn can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Additionally, a treated tooth that supports the bridge can still undergo tooth decay, with all its attendant problems.
Over time, dental bridges may wear down, loosen, or even break. If this happens, the bridge may need to be replaced.
Needs extensive tooth preparation:
For traditional bridges, healthy tooth structure may have to be removed from the abutment teeth in order to accommodate the bridge. This can weaken other teeth and increase the risk of future problems.
Caring for a Dental Bridge
Although dental bridges are permanent or fixed, they still require proper care if they are to last long.
Here are some tips to take care of your dental bridge:
- Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and rinsing regularly.
- Be cautious when consuming hard, sticky, or tough foods.
- Schedule regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist.
Cost of Dental Bridges
The cost of dental bridges will vary depending on several factors, including:
- materials used to make the bridge
- your location and the cost of living in your area
- complexity of the procedure
- number of teeth that need to be replaced
Additional treatments may also be necessary, such as root canals or extractions.
It is important to discuss all these costs and payment options beforehand with your dentist. This will let you determine the best treatment plan for your needs and budget.
You should also determine which type of dental bridge is best for you based on your specific needs and preferences. With proper care, dental bridges can provide a long-lasting solution to replace missing teeth and restore your smile.
What Drives Dental Bridge Costs?
The cost of a dental bridge varies widely based on the type of bridge you choose.
Here are some estimated costs for different types of dental bridges:
- Traditional or cantilever bridges: A pontic and a crown for each abutment tooth may cost anywhere upto a few thousand dollars.
- Maryland bridges: The framework attached to the abutment teeth and one pontic may cost upto $2,500.
- Implant-supported bridges: A bridge with two implants spanning three or four teeth can cost around $5,000 each.
What Other Tooth Restoration Options Do You Have?
If a dental bridge isn’t ideal, there are a few other alternatives available like:
- Removable partial dentures
- Full or complete dentures
- Dental implants
- Full mouth reconstruction (if you need multiple procedures due to extensive issues)
Talk about these with your dentist to find out which treatment plan is best for your unique needs.
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