Dental Bridge in Delray Beach, FL
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is exactly how it sounds. It creates a “bridge” where tooth loss has occurred. It generally takes two appointments to restore an area with a bridge. In the first, any decay is removed from the neighboring teeth and they are shaped to accept the new bridge. Then, an impression is made of the area for use in fabricating a bridge. Between the two visits, the dental crown (or abutment) is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy or an all ceramic material. During this time a provisional bridge is worn. In the second visit, this provisional is removed. Then, the permanent bridge is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.
When should I get a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge replaces missing teeth. It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and with one missing, they start to “fall.” As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.
What types of dental bridges are available?
Crowns and bridges have traditionally been made of porcelain fused to metal or gold. Now, thanks to the development of modern all-ceramics which are incredibly strong and natural looking, aesthetics and durability become one with the use of all porcelain crowns. With a traditional porcelain and metal crown, soft tissue around the tooth can recede over time, revealing the metal underneath as ugly gray lines. This simply can’t happen with all porcelain crowns because they are metal-free. All porcelain crowns are precision-engineered in state of the art production facilities utilizing a computerized laser scan – CAD/CAM technology which helps with precise fitting and accuracy.
There are a few types of dental bridges available:
- Traditional Dental Bridge: These are the most common types of dental bridges. The teeth on each side of the gap are prepared for dental crowns. The bridge is created with a “pontic” (or tooth) to place between the empty space. These are usually made of porcelain or ceramic.
- Implant Bridge: A minimal number of implants are strategically placed where the teeth are missing and these support the fixed crown and bridge. No existing natural teeth are altered in this way.
- Maryland Dental Bridge: This style of bridge is normally used for the front teeth. The pontic tooth is fused to metal bands and does not require a lot of shaping of the anchor teeth.
- Cantilever Dental Bridge: This is used when only one side can support the replacement tooth, typically when it is a small area.
Am I a candidate for a dental bridge?
If you have healthy, strong teeth on either side of the missing tooth, then you may be a good candidate for a dental bridge. There are a few considerations, however, even if your surrounding teeth are in good shape. The only true way to tell if you are a good candidate for bridges is to see your dental professional.
How long does a dental bridge last?
If you properly take care of your dental bridge(s) by practicing good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly, you can expect to have them for at least 5 – 10 years. You may want to avoid chewing ice because the temperature change may increase your chances of cracking the porcelain. If you feel that your bite is off, or if you feel that your bridge isn’t normal, please call our office to see if an adjustment may be needed.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding a dental bridge in Delray Beach, or if you have general questions regarding our office, please call 561-495-2099 to speak with a dental professional. You may also visit our contact page for more information.