A dental bridge is a type of restoration used to replace missing teeth. Dental bridges are comprised of two dental crowns, one on each side of a pontic or false tooth in the middle. These crowns fit over healthy teeth on either side of the gap in the smile, anchoring the bridge in place.
The false tooth or pontic restores the patient’s appearance as well as their ability to chew and speak properly. Dental bridges are an ideal option for anyone who is missing one to three consecutive teeth in a row, and they can be made from porcelain fused to metal or all ceramic materials depending on the patient’s needs and budget.
Types of Bridges
Traditional bridge: The most common type of bridge is made up of two crowns and one or more pontic teeth in the center. This is the most common option for replacing missing teeth and is typically the most affordable.
Cantilever bridge: This bridge is used when there is only one healthy tooth available on one side of the gap. It accomplishes the same goal as a traditional bridge, but it uses fewer materials and is more affordable as a result.
Maryland bonded bridge: Also known as a resin-bonded bridge, this type of bridge also uses the two neighboring teeth for support. However, these crowns are fused to the adjacent teeth and require no preparation.
What Are Dental Bridges Made From?
Bridges are one of the most common restorative treatments and are typically made from a porcelain material to mimic the appearance of real teeth. Porcelain is strong and durable and also quite resistant to staining from foods and drinks. It blends in with the surrounding teeth to create a seamless appearance. Porcelain is among the most durable types of dental bridges, but other options such as gold, composite resin, or porcelain-fused-to-metal are also available.
Like crowns, the process of getting a bridge typically takes two appointments to complete. The Dentist Hampton, VA will need to prepare the adjacent natural teeth for the bridge, which involves removing any decay and reshaping the teeth in order to accommodate the new restoration. Then, an impression of the teeth and gums is taken and sent to the lab, where the permanent bridge will be fabricated.
Once the dental lab completes its work on a custom bridge, the patient will come back to the dentist’s office to have the restoration bonded into place. In most cases, a temporary bridge is provided while the final one is being crafted at the lab to ensure patients can still eat and speak normally while the process is completed. The bridge will be bonded firmly in place using dental adhesives, and a bite test will be taken to ensure it fits perfectly.
How Long Do Bridges Last?
Like most dental treatments, the longevity of your bridge depends on the care it’s given and your own oral habits. Generally, a bridge can last between 15 to 20 years, sometimes even longer, depending on the materials used to create the bridge. It can be helpful to avoid sticky foods like caramels and hard candies that can stick to your teeth and cause damage. You should also avoid chewing on ice or other hard objects, as they can crack or damage your bridge.
To keep your bridge in good shape and prevent damage to your other teeth, you should also maintain proper brushing and flossing habits. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. When flossing around your bridge, use a gentle up-and-down motion instead of sawing motions that could damage the tooth.
To find out more about the dental services offered we offer at Cheng Dental, call (757) 838-9140 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit us at 21 Towne Centre Way, Hampton, VA 23666.