Dental bridges are artificial teeth that can fill in gaps caused by missing natural teeth, because of injury, extraction, or some other dental issue. Dental bridges are not as strong as natural teeth, but they are permanent placements and do very closely resemble natural teeth. There are four different types of bridges, though the procedure and recovery for each is very similar. Our office at Detailed Dental Care will provide more details to you during your consultation.
Types of Bridges
There are four types of bridges available: traditional, Maryland, implant supported, and cantilever. Traditional bridges are the most commonly used. These are composed of two or more crowns connected to a tooth or multiple teeth. The crowns help to stabilize the bridge and hold it in place. Traditional bridges are made of any combination of ceramics, porcelain fused to metal, or just plain metal.
Maryland bridges, also called resin-bonded bridges, are typically used for people missing their front teeth. These have either ceramic or porcelain fused to metal teeth. They are supported by wings on either side which are bonded to your adjacent natural teeth.
Implant supported bridges are similar to traditional bridges. The only difference is that, while traditional bridges are cemented onto the teeth, implant supported bridges are held in place by dental implants within the gums.
Cantilever bridges are also held in place by natural teeth, but only one. These are a useful option for people with teeth on one side of a gap.
Dental Bridge Procedure
This procedure generally takes two appointments. The first appointment is designated to prepare the abutment (adjacent) tooth. This includes application of a local anesthetic and filing of the abutment tooth or teeth. Filing extends beyond the enamel, which is why anesthetic is used. Once this is done, our dentist will make a dental impression of your teeth to send to a dental lab for processing. Here, they will mold a custom-fitted dental bridge. In the meantime, our dentist places a temporary bridge over the prepared teeth. On the other hand, if your teeth are not able to support a dental bridge, this is the appointment where the dental implants are placed.
At the second appointment, our dentist will remove the temporary bridge and provide a thorough cleaning. We may need to use a local anesthetic again if you are still experiencing any discomfort. Our dentist will place the bridge but will take x-rays before permanently cementing it to ensure that it fits properly. We use dental cement to bond the bridge to its support, whatever that support may be.
Recovery and Care
Recovery from dental bridges is generally quick and easy. Our dentist will instruct you on dental hygiene and dietary tips following your dental bridge procedure. For instance, you will still need to brush twice daily, floss once a day, and may also need to use mouthwash throughout the day. You could still get a cavity at the edge of your dental bridge, so this helps to prevent infection and reduce swelling.
You will also need to avoid hard or sticky foods in the day or two following your procedure. To ask about dental bridges or to schedule your procedure, contact Detailed Dental Care at (516) 875-6774 today.