Using Dental Bridges for Replacing Missing Teeth in Your Mouth
Dental bridges are fixed restorations that replace one or more missing teeth. They are customized to mimic the shape, size, and shade of natural teeth. These bridges consist of an artificial tooth and abutment.
The abutment supports the teeth on each side. If you have several teeth missing, you may need multiple bridges. Other situations may call for dentures. Dental bridges in Houston, TX, are usually made of porcelain or all-ceramic. A metal structure is used for attachment to support the dental bridge.
When Are Dental Bridges Necessary
Between the ages of 35 to 44 years, about 70% of adults have at least one lost tooth. Our dentist in Houston, TX, will recommend dental bridges if you have existing dental crowns.
One may lose a tooth from extraction or tooth loss due to:
- Direct trauma or injury on your teeth
- Extreme tooth decay
- Certain medications
- Periodontal diseases
Types of Dental Bridges Available
The dentist near you will recommend a bridge depending on the budget, current oral health, the number of teeth missing, and position. The following are types of dental bridges available.
- Traditional Bridges
These are the most commonly used type of dental bridges. They can be made of ceramic or metal materials such as gold or porcelain fused metal materials. Traditional bridges contain a fake tooth known as a pontic. Dental crowns on both sides hold the pontic in place.
Traditional bridges procedure involve shaping the existing teeth next to the fake tooth for precise fitting. They are strong and, with proper dental care, can last for years. The bridges are used to restore the back teeth, that is, molars and premolars.
- Cantilever Bridges
They are made of porcelain fused metal and are similar to traditional bridges. However, a tooth next to the gap is required to provide support to the cantilever. During the cantilever bridge procedure, the artificial tooth is placed on either side of the fake tooth. These bridges are standard in restoring front teeth.
- Implant-Supported Bridges
Dental implants are used to support dental bridges. The bridges replace molars and premolars. They are ideal if you have at least three missing molars or premolars in a row.
- Maryland Bridges
They contain a fake tooth that is supported by a metal frame. Also known as adhesive bridges, they are less invasive in comparison to traditional bridges. These bridges are made of porcelain materials and have wings to stabilize them when bonding with the adjacent teeth.
Less shaping of the teeth is needed when installing the bridges. Maryland bridges are attached to the backside of the front teeth next to the missing tooth.
They are common in replacing incisors.
However, they are rarely used in canines. Canines are important in your bites, and Maryland bridges can easily shift or loosen.
After Care for Dental Bridges
After dental bridges are installed, it is important to practice optimal oral hygiene. The following are tips on how you can manage discomfort and ensure the longevity of your bridges.
- Pain Management
The dental bridges procedures are relatively painless. You may experience tenderness or swelling on the gums after the treatment. The discomfort can be managed by over-the-counter medication prescribed by the dentist.
Minor surgery is required when implant-supported bridges are the alternative treatment. During the first days after the procedure, you may experience tooth sensitivity or jaw swelling.
- Dental Hygiene
You are required to floss and brush your teeth twice a day. However, extra effort is to be put in to ensure there is no build-up under the fake crown.
This will prevent cavities at the edge of the bridges and reduce inflammation. Flossing between and under the bridges does require some additional tools such as water floss or super floss.
- What To Eat and Not Eat
Before getting the permanent bridge, a temporary one is placed first. Temporary bridges protect the shaped teeth. During this transition, ensure you mind the diet you take. Avoid chewy or sticky foods such as candy and hard food substances such as nuts.
Take a diet full of soft foods such as soups, yogurts, or mashed potatoes. Lastly, use the opposite side to chew when the temporary bridge is in place.