Gaps in your smile can be quite difficult to cope with but it’s nothing that cannot be solved. A dental bridge is a great solution to quite literally ‘bridge’ the gap in your smile and restore your confidence.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is essentially a prosthetic or false tooth, otherwise known as a pontic. The pontic is held in place with the help of anchoring teeth — also known as abutment teeth — on either side of the gap. Pontics can be created from a range of materials, including porcelain, gold, alloys or a mixture.
Most people usually opt for porcelain since it aesthetically blends in with natural teeth. The bridge is made up of multiple tooth crowns on either side of the gap. Typically, a bridge takes around two weeks to fabricate and can be a quick solution to permanently fixing the gaps in your teeth.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges come with a plethora of benefits. For starters, they quite literally restore your smile to the best version of itself. In addition to this, there are also several medical benefits to having a bridge fitted. Bridges maintain the natural shape of your face by filling the gaps left in your mouth. They also ensure that the remaining natural teeth you have do not drift into the gaps at awkward angles.
A dental bridge replicates the effect of having natural teeth which in turn can restore your natural chewing and speaking habits. The bridge will also help distribute the force of your bite, rather than putting all the stress on your remaining teeth.
Why May Your Dentist Recommend a Dental Bridge?
Each patient’s needs differ so you should always consult with a dentist before opting for a solution. However, a dentist will usually recommend a dental bridge in in the event of the following:
Loss of One or More Teeth
If you are missing one or two teeth and still have healthy abutment teeth next to the gap, you may be eligible for a dental bridge. However, if you are missing more than three teeth, a more stable solution, such as dental implants or dentures, might be required.
When Surgery Is Not an Option?
In some cases, surgery can be used to restore dental function and the appearance of your teeth. However, when the patient is not healthy enough to undergo such procedures, the dentist will recommend choosing a dental bridge.
When a Quick Replacement Is Needed?
Sometimes, all we need is a quick fix. Since installing a traditional dental bridge usually requires only two dental appointments, it is a quicker alternative that your dentist might recommend.
How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last?
Dental bridges are quite durable and can last you a very long time. Typically, the average dental bridge can last at least 5 to 7 years. If you make sure to practice good oral hygiene and make frequent visits to your dentist, then this period can even be extended for up to 10 years.
What Is the Average Cost of a Dental Bridge?
Since dental bridges are a more permanent alternative to dentures and other dental implant options, they are a little more on the expensive side. A traditional dental bridge can cost, in Australia, around $1,800 per tooth.
Including a pontic tooth and crown for each abutment tooth, the overall cost can range anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000. The exact cost can vary depending on your individual case though. Nevertheless, it is a long-term investment that is sure to benefit you in the future.
Get to Know the Different Types of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges can be removable or fixed. Depending on the type of dental issue you have, the type of dental bridge you need to use will also differ. There are three main types of dental bridges. These include:
The traditional dental bridges are the most common type of bridge. These usually involve the creation of a tooth crown or an implant to be fitted on either side of a missing tooth.
A pontic will subsequently be placed in between. These traditional bridges are often crafted from porcelain and are then fused to materials, such as ceramic or metal.
This type of dental bridge is a rather old-school method and isn’t too common in the modern day and age, but it does still exist. Cantilever bridges were often used when there were only adjacent teeth on one side of the missing ones.
However, these can cause damage when fitted into the back of a mouth as the pressure put on other teeth can sometimes be too much.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
These bridges can be crafted from a variety of different materials. These include porcelain, plastic teeth and gums with framework, or metal-fused porcelain. Usually, the wings on one side of your bridge would be bonded directly to some of your existing teeth.
Preparing for Your Dental Bridge
If you are slated for a dental bridge fitting, here’s what you can expect. During the first appointment, the dentist will prepare your abutment teeth. This process involves recontouring these teeth by removing a part of enamel. Doing so allows room for a crown to be placed over the teeth. After this, impressions of the teeth are made to create a model.
This model will be used by a dental lab to manufacture the bridge, pontic and crowns. Your dentist will prepare a temporary bridge which will protect the exposed teeth and gums while the original bridge is being fabricated.
During the second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge to make room for the new porcelain or metal bridge. The new bridge will be checked and adjusted accordingly. Usually, the procedure ends with this step.
Depending on your individual case, you may require multiple visits in future to check the fit of the metal framework and how smooth the bite is. In the case of a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a few weeks to make sure it fits comfortably. If it fits fine after a couple weeks, the bridge will be properly cemented into place.
Dental Bridge Aftercare
Once you have been fitted with your dental bridge, you will need to take steps to ensure it is maintained. The integrity of the bridge and its effectiveness depends on the solid foundation offered by your surrounding teeth. Without strong surrounding teeth, the bridge will not have any reinforcement and can prove ineffective.
This is why you must maintain good dental and oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing and using an antiseptic mouthwash daily. This will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
How We Can Help?
When it comes to your teeth, our experts at Stanley Street Dental come equipped with years of experience and are highly qualified to provide you with only the best advice and service. We offer only the highest-quality dental work and look forward to restoring your smile. If you are looking to get fitted for dental bridges or dental implants in Collingwood, book a consultation at Stanley Street Dental today!