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Dental bridges are prosthetic devices that literally bridge gaps made by missing teeth. A standard bridge has two crowns (which go on each side of the gap), connected to a false tooth (or series of false teeth) that complete your smile.
The two teeth that receive the crowns are called abutment or retainer teeth, and both natural teeth and dental implants can do the job. The false teeth in between them are known as pontics. The bridges are made of porcelain, gold, alloys or a combination of each.
The primary types of dental bridges available are traditional fixed bridges, resin-bonded bridges and cantilever bridges. Let’s take a brief look at each.
Traditional fixed bridges are the most commonly used style of bridge. Made from ceramics or porcelain fused to metal, they consist of two or more crowns that are attached to (and support) a filler tooth (or teeth) in between them.
This type of bridge is also known as a Maryland bonded bridge or simply a Maryland bridge. They consist of teeth made of porcelain fused to metal that are supported by a metal framework. Metal wings on both sides of the bridge are bonded to your natural teeth. This option is most often used for the front teeth.
We prescribe these bridges for patients who only have teeth on one side of the missing tooth (or teeth), or no teeth remaining next to the other side of the missing tooth (or teeth).
The dental bridge procedure requires two appointments. In the first, we will prepare the abutment teeth by reshaping them and removing enamel until they have enough room for a crown to fit over them. The next step is to make impressions of your teeth that our laboratory will use as a model to make the bridge, crowns and prosthetic teeth. In the meantime, Dr. Crumpton will craft and place a temporary bridge over the exposed teeth until the main one is completed.
At the second appointment, we will remove your temporary bridge and then attach and adjust the new bridge to make sure it fits the way it should. If necessary, we may need to schedule follow-up visits so we can examine the alignment of your bite and the fit of the framework.
When we seat a permanent bridge, we sometimes need to temporarily cement it in place with adhesive for a few weeks to ensure it fits properly. It will permanently cement into place after that.
With dental bridges, you can restore the appearance of your smile and the shape of your face. They can also evenly distribute the forces of your bite and prevent your teeth from shifting. Finally, they restore your ability to eat and speak normally.
Dental bridges are known to last from 5 to 7 years, but with proper care, they can last for over 10 years.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at 817-678-7395.