What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a tooth replacement restoration. It bridges the gap in your teeth by connecting one or more replacement teeth to natural teeth on either side of the gap.
Most of the time, the connection is made with dental crowns that fit over the natural teeth. This has the benefit of providing a strong connection while protecting and reinforcing the supporting teeth, also called abutment teeth. However, we can also use a bridge that simply bonds directly to your natural teeth.
In the past, long bridges were common. Today, we prefer to use a bridge to replace just one missing tooth. The longer the bridge, the more stress on the supporting teeth, and the greater the risk that you will lose them.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
In placing your dental bridge, we must first examine the abutment teeth to make sure they’re strong enough to support the bridge. It’s actually good if these teeth have a little damage and would benefit from being crowned anyway, but they need to be generally healthy and strong. We will then make plans for your procedure.
During the second appointment, we will prepare your abutment teeth for the crowns and take an impression of your teeth and the gap. We then send this impression to a lab. Meanwhile, you might wear temporary restorations or an Essix retainer that will keep your teeth from drifting while giving the appearance that you’ve got your full smile back.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are a good solution for replacing a missing tooth. With a dental bridge, you will get:
- Attractive results
- A fixed, functional replacement tooth
- Prevention of teeth drifting into the gap
- Durable results (15 years or more is not uncommon with proper care)
A modern dental bridge can be made with advanced ceramics that look just like your natural teeth. The connection between the pontic (replacement tooth) and the supporting crowns is nearly invisible. People won’t know you have a dental bridge.
A dental bridge is bonded in place so it functions just like a natural tooth. You can bite and chew all your favorite foods. The bridge also fulfills the important function of keeping your teeth from drifting.
Bridges can be very durable. When properly placed and cared for, they will usually last about a decade and can last much longer.
Comparing Bridges and Dental Implants
Bridges and dental implants both give you fully fixed and functional replacement teeth. So which is best for you? In general, a dental implant is better. However, a dental bridge might be the best choice if you:
- Are missing only one tooth
- Have abutment teeth that might benefit from crowning
- Don’t have enough bone to support an implant
- Don’t want implant surgery
In these cases, a dental bridge might be the better choice for you.
Looking for a Tooth Replacement?
If you have lost a tooth and are looking to replace it in Sterling Heights, MI, Skowronski Family Dentistry can help. Please call (586) 977-8413 today for an appointment.