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Tooth Bridges: Everything You Need to Know

Dental bridges, also known as tooth bridges, can help you fill in the blanks when it comes to any gaps in your smile, and help you feel more comfortable and confident in yourself.

Making the decision whether or not dental bridges are right for you can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are a number of factors to consider that can help make your decision easier.

What Are Dental Bridges?

A dental bridge, or tooth bridge, is a false tooth made of porcelain, ceramic, or metal. It fills the gap left behind by a missing tooth, and is usually held in place by attaching itself to the natural teeth on each side of the opening (these teeth are known as abutment teeth).

Dental bridges are less invasive than other cosmetic dentistry procedures, making them a good option for those looking for minimal pain and a relatively fast healing process.

Types of Bridges

The following are some of the most common types of dental bridges:

  • Traditional Fixed Bridge: This is the most common bridge type; it uses resin cement to attach a false tooth (or teeth) to the abutment teeth.
  • Cantilever Bridge: This option is anchored to just one abutment tooth; it can be used if there’s no tooth (or no healthy tooth) on the other side of the gap.
  • Maryland Bridge: This is a popular choice for those who need to replace teeth at the front of the mouth.
  • Implant-Supported Bridge: This option uses dental implants instead of natural teeth to anchor the false tooth.

Your dentist can help you weigh the pros and cons of each bridge type to decide which one is the right pick.

Why Should I Invest in Tooth Bridges?

A dental bridge is an excellent choice for someone with missing teeth caused by decay, gum disease, injury, or a congenital condition (i.e., you were born with a missing tooth). For dental bridges to work for you, you must have healthy teeth on at least one side of the gap.

Need more help deciding if a dental bridge is a good fit for you? Here are some pros and cons to keep in mind:

Pro: Non-Surgical Treatment

Many people prefer not to undergo surgery to enhance their smile. If this is also the case for you, dental bridges are an excellent alternative to implants and other more invasive procedures.

Con: Requires Healthy Teeth

For dental bridges to be effective, you must have healthy abutment teeth framing the gap in your smile. This requirement disqualifies some people from moving forward with the procedure.

Pro: Combats Bite Problems

If you let a gap in your teeth go unfilled, you may experience issues with your bite and tooth alignment.

These issues can contribute to chewing difficulties, speech difficulties, and other challenges. Luckily, tooth bridges are a practical solution that can keep these problems at bay.

Con: Doesn’t Address Bone Loss

When you’re missing one or more teeth, the jawbone in that area starts to deteriorate. This deterioration can lead to facial sagging or tooth movement.

Bridges sit above the gum line, so they don’t address bone loss the same way that dental implants do.

Pro: More Realistic

Are you deciding between tooth bridges and other cosmetic solutions, such as dentures? If so, remember that bridges typically look and feel more realistic than dentures.

Con: Shorter Lifespan

Dental bridges don’t last as long as implants (although they do still have a relatively long lifespan). Compared to implants, which last 25+ years, bridges typically last about 15 years before you need to consider a dental bridge replacement.

Pro: Increases Confidence

If you’ve ever seen a dental bridge before and after picture, you will know that filling in a gap in your smile can help you feel more confident and sure of yourself.

What to Expect During Your Appointment

When you arrive for a dental bridge consultation, you’ll go through the following steps:

  • Abutment teeth preparation: A dentist will reshape the abutment teeth and remove portions of the enamel and dentin to make room.
  • Impressions: The dentist will take impressions or digital scans; a dental lab will use the mould or scan to create the bridge, false teeth, and crowns.
  • Temporary bridge: While the lab makes the bridge, you’ll receive a temporary one to protect exposed areas in the mouth.
  • Permanent bridge placement: The dentist will remove the temporary bridge and place the permanent one; they will also check the bridge and make adjustments as needed to ensure you’re comfortable.

At Maple Dental Health, we strive to make the dental bridge process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. We understand that a trip to the dentist can be anxiety-inducing, and we’re here to answer all your questions and help you feel calm throughout your appointment.

Dental bridges are an excellent solution if you need to fill in gaps in your teeth and feel more confident in your smile. The procedure is simple, cost-effective, and meant to last.

Are you ready to schedule an appointment for a dental bridge consultation? If so, get in touch with us today at Maple Dental Health.

Frequently Asked Dental Bridge Questions

If you still have questions or concerns about getting a tooth bridge, don’t worry. Below, you’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions to help you feel more confident in your decision:

How Much Does a Dental Bridge Cost?

The cost of dental bridges varies based on several factors, including the bridge type, the number of teeth being replaced, and the health of the abutment teeth. In general, bridges are more affordable than other cosmetic procedures such as implants.

What Foods Should I Avoid?

To prolong the lifespan of your dental bridge, avoid the following foods:

  • Sticky foods (caramel, taffy, gum, etc.)
  • Sugary foods (candy, baked goods, etc.)
  • Hard foods (nuts, popcorn, chips, etc.)

You should also avoid beverages that can stain your dental bridge, such as coffee, wine, and dark-coloured soda.

How Long Does It Take to Feel Normal After the Procedure?

Most patients take about two weeks to recover fully and feel normal after this procedure. If the bridge still feels uncomfortable or loose after this period, you may need to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

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