What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge refers to the structure between two crowns, and as the name suggests, it fills or bridges the gap between missing teeth.
There are several benefits of a dental bridge, most notably, it:
- Restores your ability to chew
- Replaces missing teeth
- Restores your ability to speak clearly
- Restores your smile
- Maintains the shape of your face
- Ensures that the remaining teeth remain in position and don�t drift away
Dental bridges are of three types:
- Traditional bridges:In this bridge type, a crown is created on either side of the missing tooth using a replacement tooth or pontic between the two ends. These bridges are usually made from porcelain fused to either ceramics or metal.
- Cantilever bridges:These are used when there are adjacent teeth only on one side of the missing tooth/teeth.
- Maryland bridges:Also known as Maryland bonded bridges, these are made of gums and plastic and are set on metal framework. Metal wings at both ends are used to bond the structure to the existing teeth.
How to get a dental bridge?
Your dentist will take you through the following steps to create and fit you with a dental bridge.
During the first visit:
Preparation of the abutment teeth: The doctor will remove a portion of the enamel from the teeth to make room for a crown to be placed over them. This process is known as recountouring.
Make impressions of your teeth: The impressions will serve as the base to create the bridge and crowns in the lab. During the time it takes to create the bridge, the doctor will make a temporary bridge and fit into your gums so as to protect your exposed teeth and gums till the bridge is ready.During the second visit
During the second visit:
Removal of temporary bridge: The doctor will remove the temporary bridge and fit the permanent one, checking and adjusting, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. In case, adjustments are needed, you may be asked for additional visits to ensure that the framework fits properly and that you feel no discomfort in use. In case, a permanent bridge is required, the dentist may initially cement it temporarily to make sure it fits properly, and then after a couple of weeks, cement it permanently.
What is the life of a bridge?
Provided you maintain good regular hygiene and go for regular check-ups, as advised by the doctor, the dental bridge can last for 10 years, and stretchable to 15 years and even longer.
Is it difficult to eat with a dental bridge?
No, on the contrary, a dental bridge makes eating easier. Till you become accustomed to the fitting, it is advisable to eat soft food and cut your food into small bites to ease chewing.
Will the dental bridge affect my speech?
The dental bridge will help to add clarity to your speech as it is difficult to speak when teeth are missing in the front.
What steps should I take to care for my dental bridge?
The success of the dental bridge will to a large extent depend on the support it receives from the adjoining teeth. Maintaining oral hygiene will go a long way in ensuring long life of the structure. Make sure to brush your teeth twice daily. Flossing daily also helps to prevent decay and gum disease. Seek advice from your dentist on how to brush and floss your teeth. Regular check-ups and proper balanced diet are also recommended.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is generally advised when the pulp of the tooth is infected with germs, mainly bacteria. The procedure involves the removal of the damaged pulp of the tooth. Once this is done, the pulp chamber and root canals are filled and closed.
What are the steps involved in root canal treatment?
The dentist will:
Steps in Completing Root Canal
- Gain access to the affected tooth�s nerve area
- Clean the tooth
- Determine the length of root canal
- Remove damaged pulp
- Fill with white fillings
- Seal the pulp chamber and root canal
- Seal the root canals
What are white fillings?
Also known as tooth colour, these fillings restore the natural colour of the tooth. They are also used for cosmetic purposes to change colour or size of teeth, or to close gaps between teeth. Besides, they are also used to repair chipped teeth and make them appear even.
What are the various advantages of white fillings?
Cosmetic uses: As said above, they are used to restore the natural tooth colour of the teeth and make them look straight and even.
Root canal treatment: They are used during the procedure as fillings once the pulp is removed from the damaged tooth. Once the procedure is complete, they are used to restore the natural colour of the tooth.
Chemically bond tooth structure: These fillings chemically bond the tooth structure, thus, doing away with the need for slots, pins or grooves to mechanically retain the structure in the mouth.
White fillings restore 85% - 95% of the original strength of the tooth. Besides, they harden in seconds and don�t require days, as is the case with the other materials used in the dental procedures.
Treatment cost: will vary depending on complexity of treatment