Having missing teeth not only creates a gap in your smile but also can cause pain. As time goes on, your remaining teeth can move into the gap, which can lead to a change in the shape of your face. Undergoing a dental bridge procedure can prevent these oral health issues and restore your dazzling smile.
A dental bridge (sometimes called a fixed partial denture) is a dental procedure designed to replace one or more missing teeth using artificial teeth. These false teeth are called pontics and are created to fill the gap by anchoring in place using healthy teeth on either side of the gap.
Ideal applicants for Dental Implant Surgery may include:
- People who have missed one or more permanent teeth
- Patients who are looking to restore the function and appearance of their dentures
- People who have healthy teeth and a strong bone structure to support the bridge
- People who have good oral health
- Dental bridges consist of two procedures that take place on two separate days.
- Each session takes between one to two hours.
The procedure of inserting a dental bridge may cause some minor pain that should subside in a few days.
Potential Risks and Side Effects:
Dental implant surgery may have some risks such as:
- Allergic reaction to the anesthetic or restorative material
- Increased risk of decay in the abutment teeth
- Pulp damage or death resulting in tooth loss
What happens during a dental bridge procedure?
Your dentist will use a local anesthetic while re-contouring the abutment teeth to support the crowns that will hold the bridge in its place. The final procedure, where the bridge is bonded in place, is usually painless. Still, your dentist may choose to use a local anesthetic again to ensure you will have a comfortable experience.
The procedure of dental bridges involves two parts:
- First, your doctor will reshape the teeth next to the gap that will be filled to make them suitable for holding the bridge in its proper place. Then, your dentist will make an impression of the newly shaped area and send it to a lab so that a custom-built pontic can be created for you.
- Then, your dentist may then create a temporary bridge or filling. This step is mainly done for aesthetic reasons and protects the reshaped teeth before the permanent teeth are cemented into place.
Once the bespoke pontic comes back from the lab, your dentist will arrange another appointment for you. At this session, the dentist will remove the filling temporarily and will clean its underneath area thoroughly. The dentist may employ a local anesthetic before applying dental cement and permanently fixing the new bridge into its position.
What are the different types of dental bridges?
Your dentist or prosthodontist (who specializes in replacing missing teeth) may recommend one of these types of bridges, depending on the location of your missing teeth and the health condition of the adjacent teeth.
Traditional dental bridges
They have a metal framework combined with ceramic or porcelain that can look very much like natural teeth. Dental crowns placed on abutment teeth on both sides of the gap are attached to false teeth or pontics.
These are considered the most robust and most stable type of dental bridge since they are held in place by dental implants fused to the jawbone. However, implant-supported bridges are the most intensive (and expensive) type of dental bridge procedure. Typically, they need one surgery to embed the implants in the jawbone and another surgery whenever the implants have healed completely to place the bridge.
Maryland bridges, also called resin-bonded bridges
These bridges bare a more conservative alternative to traditional bridges. They are made of porcelain and supported by a metal or porcelain framework bonded to the backs of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth—not to crowns. Porcelain bridges can look very natural as replacements for front teeth, but they are not strong enough to replace molars.
They are less common because they are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing teeth. The pontic is held in place with a cantilever bridge by cementing a dental crown to only one abutment tooth. Cantilever bridges are not recommended for the back of the mouth due to the amount of force they can put on other teeth.
Note: Whitening treatments will not affect the color of the artificial teeth in your bridge. Getting teeth whitening before your bridge is created will ensure the best long-term color match.