Why do dentists recommend a dental bridge for your teeth? Actually, for a number of reasons. A bridge is often used to replace a missing tooth or several teeth in a row on the upper or lower jaw. A bridge is a fixed partial denture which can be permanent or removable. Dental bridges come in a variety of types and may be recommended by your dental provider to fill in gaps caused by a missing tooth.
A number of factors can contribute to a person losing one or more teeth including periodontal disease, a decayed tooth, or a blunt force injury to the mouth. A person missing one tooth or several may experience a negative influence on how food is chewed and can adversely affect the appearance of your smile or speech. Tooth loss may influence other teeth and cause shifting that results in crooked teeth, or affect jaw positioning and function.
So why do dentists recommend a dental bridge for your teeth? Primarily to save your jaw appearance and function.
Types of dental bridges
Traditionally, a dental bridge is thought of as one that is used to replace one or more teeth when the teeth existing on either side of that gap are healthy enough to anchor the bridge in the place. Those teeth are known as abutment teeth. Traditional dental bridges are typically made of porcelain or ceramic that has been fused to metal, used as the anchor points. Dental bridges can be used to replace teeth that are missing from the front or even molars in the back of your mouth.
A permanent or fixed dental bridge is still the most common. Such bridges are literally cemented in place, providing added stability due their attachment at either end to stable, healthy teeth. Sometimes, a fixed bridge may also require placement of an artificial tooth for its anchor point.
A cantilever bridge only attaches to one abutment, such as the case when natural teeth or anchor points are missing on the other side – such as in the case of rear molars. However because these bridges are not anchored on both sides of the bridge, it may not be as stable.
A common type of bridge used to replace teeth at the front of the mouth is called a Maryland bridge, although they are not typically as durable as a traditional bridge and may shift around on molars or teeth that exert more biting force. Then there’s the implant supported bridge that, rather than using natural teeth to support the dental implant, dental implants are used, as mentioned above.
How long does it take to install a dental bridge?
The procedure for dental bridges can take two to three visits, sometimes more depending on how many teeth are being bridged as well as the type of bridge decided upon. If your dentist recommends a dental bridge, don’t hesitate to ask questions and obtain adequate information so that you can make a well-educated decision. If you are in the Bay area of California, give Los Gatos CA Dentist, Dr. Scott Prawat a call for all of your dental needs.