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What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a type of dental restoration used for one or more missing teeth. It works by creating a bridge supported by the two teeth at two sides of the tooth loss area.

The dentist will file down the enamel layer of the adjacent natural teeth to attach the crowns connected the bridge. Moreover, if you have many missing teeth, the dentist may perform dental implants first before placing the dental bridge on them.

Dental bridges can be made of a variety of materials such as porcelain-metal, porcelain-titanium, ceramic, etc., each of which holds different durability and characteristics.

Dental bridge types

There are 4 main types of dental bridges nowadays, including:

1. Traditional bridge

These are the most commonly used bridges when the teeth adjacent to the tooth loss area are still healthy. Traditional bridges include two dental crowns bound to two reshaped adjacent teeth with false teeth in the middle to replace the missing teeth.

dental bridges

2. Cantilever bridge

These involve attaching only one crown to a reshaped tooth to support the bridge. However, cantilever bridges are often not recommended as the reshaped tooth can be affected with vigorous biting. You may be eligible for this type of bridge if it is your front tooth that needs replacement.

Cantilever bridge

3. Maryland bonded bridge

Similar to traditional bridges, these also involve two natural teeth at two sides of the tooth loss area. The difference here is that Maryland bonded bridges have a metal or porcelain frame attached to the back of the two adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is mostly used for front teeth when the supporting teeth are still healthy. You should not opt for a Maryland bonded bridge if you have an overbite or crossbite.

Maryland bonded bridge

4. Implant-supported dental bridge

The doctor will typically insert implants for each missing tooth but if that is not possible, you can choose a porcelain bridge with implants acting as supporting teeth on two sides of the bridge. This type of bridge will not affect your real teeth and is considered the most stable method.

implant-supported dental bridge

Why should you get a dental bridge?

When you suffer from tooth loss at birth or due to an accident, tooth decay or any other causes, your oral health will be affected. Restoring one or more missing teeth by receiving a dental bridge can give you a natural-looking set of teeth and:

  • Boost your confidence when you smile or communicate with others
  • Restore your normal chewing function
  • Restore your pronunciation abilities, enabling you to communicate more clearly
  • Maintain a natural facial shape
  • Adjust your bite force to the normal state as you chew
  • Prevent the surrounding teeth from turning askew or growing astray from their original places

What happens during a dental bridge procedure?

After you’ve made your decision to get a dental bridge to compensate for your missing teeth, the dental care provider will examine your teeth and the teeth adjacent to the tooth loss area.

  1. First off, the dentist will prepare for the procedure by filing down the enamel of the two adjacent teeth in order to attach the crowns connected to the bridge.
  2. Then, the dental mold is made into a model including the crowns and false teeth connected like a bridge in the dental lab. During that time, the dentist will ask you to wear a temporary bridge to protect the surrounding teeth and the exposed gums.
  3. After that, when the dental crowns are completed, the temporary bridge will be detached and replaced with new porcelain or metal bridge.

The dentist will check the compatibility and make adjustments if needed in order for you to feel as comfortable as possible. The duration of the treatment depends upon the specific cases as well as the type of dental bridge you want to receive. Your dentist may attach your dental bridge temporarily for a few weeks for monitoring before fixing them in place permanently.

To have a suitable bridge with a long “lifespan”, you should find a reliable, quality dental clinic with a team of dentists who are high-qualified, experienced in dental restoration. Don’t go to cheap, unlicensed, non-certified dental clinics to avoid “paying to get worse.”

How long does a dental bridge last?

A dental bridge can be stable for 15 years or more. If you practice good oral hygiene and get a frequent dental exams, it is totally possible for your dental bridge to last for more than 10 years.

Will there be any difficulty in eating with a dental bridge?

Replacing your lost teeth with a dental bridge will definitely make your eating more at ease. However, you should have soft foods that are cut into small pieces as you adjust to the new bridge.

How should you take care of your dental bridge?

First, you must keep the rest of your teeth healthy whether you choose to receive a traditional dental bridge or not. Healthy surrounding teeth and gums will be a good foundation for a stable dental bridge.

In addition, you should brush twice a day and use dental floss to remove food debris stuck in the gaps as well as use an antibacterial mouthwash daily to prevent cavities and gum disease. These conditions can result in tooth decay, causing you to lose more teeth or affecting the new dental bridge.

You can consult with your doctor about daily oral care techniques as well as how to brush or floss properly. After that, you will only need to maintain these habits on a daily basis to improve and stabilize your teeth and gums.

Moreover, your diet and the kinds of foods and drinks you have also played an important role if you want to have healthy, radiant teeth.


Learn more: Types of Dental Crowns


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