Dental bridges can be supported by either natural teeth or implants. When supported by natural teeth, it is made up of two crowns, one over the teeth on either side of the gap, and a false tooth (or several false teeth) in between. The two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and the false tooth is called a pontic. It can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.
Types of Dental Bridges
Once our dentist's determines that you would benefit from having a bridge, your first appointment is scheduled. In this first appointment, we prepare the opposing teeth by recontouring them so that crowns will fit over them. Impressions are then taken of the area, which are sent to the dental lab. We will secure a temporary bridge to protect the teeth, until your permanent bridge is ready to be placed.
In your second appointment, we will place your permanent bridge, checking the fit and adjusting it accordingly. On some occasions, he or she will first cement the permanent bridge with temporary cement. Then, when both you and our dentist's are satisfied that it fits properly, we will cement it permanently.
How Long Do Bridges Last?
Usually a dental bridge will last between five and seven years, or longer with proper dental hygiene, even longer than ten years.
After your permanent dental bridge is placed, eating will become much easier. You may have to cut your food into smaller pieces for a short period of time. After you adjust to having a bridge, you will experience the full benefits of having more teeth.
Speaking is rarely affected when a dental bridge is placed. You may feel a bit awkward at first, but after this transition period you should hardly notice that it is there.
Oral homecare is very important in maintaining the health of your dental bridge. Your dentist or dental hygienist will instruct you in how to floss underneath it and brush and floss around it. This hygiene foundation will facilitate the longevity of your dental crown.