Dental bridges are a teeth restoration method used to replace one or more missing teeth. The procedure involves joining artificial teeth to adjacent teeth or dental implants. Bridges restore your bite, maintain your face shape, and improve your smile and oral health. They are recommended for people missing more than one tooth in a row and those who cannot get dental implants.
If you are considering whether dental bridges are the best tooth restoration procedure for you, it will just be a matter of booking a visit with your knowledgeable Surrey dentist. They will evaluate your overall oral health and assess the extent of tooth loss and the health of your remaining teeth. Using this information, your dentist will advise whether dental bridges are right for you and tell you the type of bridge you need.
Types of Dental Bridges
Depending on your needs, there are a few types of dental bridges available to you. These include:
Traditional Fixed Bridges
This dental bridge, either made entirely from ceramics or with porcelain-fused-to-metal, is one of the most common tooth replacement options. They create a “stand-in” tooth supported by more than one crown placed over adjacent natural teeth. These crowns secure the bridge and are strong enough to replace molars. With traditional bridges, some enamel is removed from the two closest teeth adjacent to the missing tooth space to make room for the crowns. While effective, it can be considered a downside to reshaping healthy teeth for the sake of tooth replacement.
For people with just one tooth beside the gap in question, dentists may decide to use a cantilever bridge. A pontic (a single prosthetic tooth “appearing” to emerge from the gums) connects to an abutment (adjacent) tooth via a metal connector to secure the bridge. Preparation for installing this type of bridge is similar to traditional bridges in that some tooth enamel is removed; however, cantilever bridges are better suited for replacing missing front teeth. If placed toward the back of your mouth, the bridge must be strong enough to cushion the abutment tooth from the bite force of your back teeth.
This type of bridge is supported solely by dental implants, meaning there is little-to-no damage to the adjoining natural teeth. Implant-supported bridges are used when you have more than one missing tooth. They provide strong support and reduce the need for numerous implants, which can damage healthy gums and bones.
Dentists often recommend Maryland bridges, or resin-bonded bridges, to replace teeth at the front of the mouth. The natural teeth are bonded adjacent to pontic teeth by porcelain or metal bands. Maryland bridges are strong, but they may not stay in place in areas where teeth undergo substantial biting force hence and are not a good choice to replace molars. That said, one major advantage of this type of bridge is that your dentist will only need to make minimal adjustments to the shape of the abutment teeth – so the procedure is not as invasive as some others.
The Dental Bridge Process
Restoration with dental bridges typically requires more than one dental visit. In addition, depending on the type of bridge your dentist recommends, your appointments may need to be spaced far apart.
Following your initial consultation, if your dentist decides that dental bridges are suitable for you, they will prepare your mouth for the procedure. Depending on the type of bridge required, they may prepare the abutment teeth and install the crowns. This is not a painful process and is completed using local anesthesia.
Your dentist will insert the bridge at a second appointment, after which a follow-up visit is needed to address any discomfort or pain. Your gums and tongue may feel numb from the procedure, but the sensation will wear off. You can also expect to experience some sensitivity and tenderness in the affected teeth.
Some discomfort may accompany getting your first dental bridge; however, it shouldn’t last too long. Inform your dentist during your follow-up appointment if you feel pain or distress so they can make the proper adjustments.
While dental bridges are not a permanent solution to tooth loss, they can last for decades with the proper care and good oral hygiene.
Dental Bridges in Surrey
If you are concerned about your dental health or have questions about if dental bridges are a good fit for you, contact Newton Village Dental Clinic today. We offer a wide range of safe, reliable dental services in Surrey. Call (604) 599-4777 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.