If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist may recommend dental bridges. There are three different types of dental bridges, namely
- The traditional bridges
What is the Process
The first appointment with your dentist involves creating the abutment teeth. The adjustment teeth are recontoured by removing some of the enamel to make room for the crowns. The next step consists of creating teeth impressions to get the pontic, bridge, and crowns’ right size and shape. The creation process takes place in a dental lab and may take a few days. After removing part of the enamel, a temporary, protective bridge is placed on the teeth for the duration it takes to create the permanent bridge.
On the second appointment, the temporary bridge is replaced with the permanent one. The fitting is adjusted until you achieve a comfortable fit and bite. When it is a fixed bridge, temporary cement may be used for a few weeks as the dentist checks whether the bridge fits properly and when all looks good, the permanent adhesive is used. You may require several visits to the dentist to adjust the fitting before cementing.
What are the Benefits
Holds your remaining teeth in place – When you have missing teeth, the remaining ones shift from their position to cover the gap, making them lose and eventually fall off. Missing teeth may also alter your facial structure with time.
You achieve a better bite- It’s difficult to chew food properly when you have some missing teeth. Dental bridges take the place of the missing teeth and make it easier to bite.
It boosts self-esteem- Many people are affected by the way they look when they have missing teeth. Teeth replacement restores a smile and overall self-esteem. You can laugh more freely when you have all your teeth beautifully in place.
They are easy to maintain- You can clean the dental bridges the same way you would regular teeth. They also feel natural in the mouth. It takes a short duration to get accustomed to having the dental bridges in the mouth. During this period, eat soft foods.
It improves your speech- Missing teeth alter how sounds come out, affecting your speech and confidence. The dental bridge takes care of this, making you speak flawlessly like before.
They last for long- Dental bridges can last for 5 to 15 years, depending on the type and maintenance. To prolong their life, make sure to have regular dental visits for a professional cleaning service.
How do You Take Care of the Dental Bridge?
It’s essential to take care of all the teeth to ensure the bridge stays healthy and in place for long. Brush and floss at least twice a day and use a toothpaste containing hydrated silica to break plaque and debris stuck on the teeth. Make sure to check for gum disease and any tooth problems and have them fixed in time. Regular dental visits can lead to early detection and treatment of tooth problems, which prolongs the bridges’ lives.
Should You Be Concerned about your Bite and Speech After the Procedure?
It’s natural for your bite to feel different for a few weeks after the procedure, but as you get used to the bridges, chewing food gets more comfortable. The bridges are uniform in size and shape to the missing teeth meaning that you regain the functionality you lost when the tooth came off. Contrary to many people’s concern, the speech gets better as the sounds come out more naturally now that the tongue doesn’t get stuck in the missing teeth spaces when speaking.
How Much do the Dental Bridges Cost?
This cost of the dental bridges depends on
- Type of dentures- traditional dentures are less expensive compared to Maryland or cantilever bridges.
- The number of bridges needed to feel the gap -the more the missing teeth, the higher the cost of dental bridges
- The material used -whether zirconia, metal alloy, or composite resin.
- The complexity of the procedure
- The condition of the present teeth and the gum – in the presence of gum disease or tooth decay, the procedure is more complex, and the dentists may be forced to take care of the condition before fixing the bridges.
If you are missing a tooth or several teeth, talk to your dentist about dental bridges. They are a long term solution with many benefits. Make sure to discuss the type of material to be used, the type of bridges, and the cost beforehand. You will need at least two days for the procedure, with the actual fixing taking between one and two hours.
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