Dental Bridges An Overview
A dental bridge is a device used to fill the space where a tooth has fallen out or been removed. A typical dental bridge consists of a replacement tooth that is attached to two adjacent teeth. Once complete, this bridge structure is bonded into the mouth.
Spaces in the mouth from missing teeth can cause multiple teeth to shift, lead to occlusion (biting) and/or jaw problems and spur periodontal disease.
There are various options for replacing missing teeth, all of which can safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile. These options include dental bridges, affordable dental implants and partial dentures. Dr. Lazer can discuss with you which option will work best for your circumstances.
Types Of Dental Bridges
Removable Dental Bridge
Generally, a removable dental bridge is only used for a short term solution. A removable bridge can be used to maintain tooth position while a patient is preparing to have a fixed dental bridge or dental implant. While the cost of a removable dental bridge is appealing, they do not offer good long term benefits and frequently require replacement or repair down the road.
Fixed Dental Bridge
As the name indicates, a fixed dental bridge is permanently fixed in the mouth. In this type of restoration, a replacement tooth is connected to two dental crowns which cover the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, commonly called the anchor teeth. The anchor teeth will need to be shaved down to accommodate the crowns. They method essentially requires healthy teeth to be reduced and puts a lot of pressure on them.
A dental bridge that is secured to at least two dental implants can replace a few consecutive missing teeth. The dentist may choose to have a fixed dental bridge secured by implants instead of by dental crowns. Dental implants provide better long term benefits and do not require preparation of neighboring teeth.
Dental Bridge FAQs
Are dental bridges removable?
Yes, some types of bridges can be removed. A temporary bridge is removable. Temporary bridges are used as placeholders in situations where you are waiting for your final restoration. You might also get a temporary bridge if you have yet to decide how you want to replace your missing teeth. Most patients use temporary bridges while waiting for a dental implant.
How do you clean a dental bridge?
To effectively clean a dental bridge, first brush your teeth and bridge as usual. Spend at least two minutes brushing. After brushing, you will need to floss between and under your bridge. There is a specific floss product made for patients with bridges that makes flossing under the bridge very easy. Flossing is very important when you have a bridge because food particles that is left under the bridge can cause plenty of issues, such as bad breath, gum irritation, and gum infections.
What can’t you eat with a dental bridge?
It’s best to stay away from very sticky foods, especially if your bridge is removable. All dentists agree that sticky foods can cause issues for your dental bridge. Sticky foods that gets suck under your bridge makes it very difficult for you to get it all out. It is very important to routinely floss under your bridge. Most bridge failures are due to decay in the anchor teeth and teeth next to bridges.