As a result of trauma, there may be cracking, chipping, fracture, or even the removal of a tooth or teeth. Dental bridges can be prepared to replace one or more missing teeth. Depending on how many teeth are lost and what part of the mouth is affected, a gap in the dentition can lead to a less pleasing smile, alter your bite, and affect your pronunciation. Professionals at Peninsula Family Dental Center can give you a bridge placement procedure to improve your smile, preserve your bite, and retain your pronunciation ability.
Types of Bridges
There are various types of bridges. These include traditional dental bridges, cantilever dental bridges, Maryland dental bridges, and implant-supported dental bridges. The traditional dental bridge is the most common type of bridge. It is used when natural teeth surround the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A traditional dental bridge consists of one or more false teeth, also known as pontics, placed between the abutment teeth. The false tooth or teeth are secured on both sides by dental crowns, which are cemented to the teeth on either side of the false tooth or teeth.
Cantilever dental bridges are used when only one natural tooth is next to the tooth gap. The pontic is attached to a crown cemented to one abutment tooth.
The Maryland dental bridge or resin-bonded dental bridge is similar to the traditional dental bridge because the pontic is attached to two natural abutment teeth. However, porcelain or metal attaches to the back of the abutment teeth unlike the traditional dental bridge where the abutment teeth are attached by means of dental crowns.
With an implant-supported dental bridges, dental implants are what support the dental bridge. Here, for one or more of the missing teeth, a dental implant is surgically placed. A pontic is then suspended between two crowns that are supported by one dental implant as well as either a natural tooth or another dental implant. With implant-supported bridges, two procedures are needed: one for dental implant placement and a second to place the dental bridge.
Bridge Placement Procedure
A bridge placement procedure requires two appointments. The first step is for our dental professional to assess your mouth to determine the best bridge treatment option. A radiograph of the area is taken to ascertain the state of the surrounding tissue. Next, a local anesthetic is applied to the abutment teeth so they can be prepared. The abutment teeth are chiseled and filed into shape so that the abutment crowns fit properly. An impression of the shaped teeth is taken and sent to the dental laboratory where a prosthetic is fabricated. If deemed appropriate by our dental professional, dental implants can be surgically planted into the gum tissue to support the bridge. When necessary, a temporary bridge can be placed to protect the abutment teeth from damage. A temporary bridge is made of basic filling materials and will be removed when the permanent bridge is ready to be placed.
As soon as the permanent dental bridge is ready, the temporary bridge is removed. The tooth beneath it is cleaned, and then the permanent bridge is placed. This all occurs during the second appointment.
Dental bridge placement offers many benefits to your oral health, including protecting the exposed gums from infection. They also enable proper chewing and help maintain the shape of your face. If you have a missing tooth or teeth and are interested in a bridge, you can contact Peninsula Family Dental Center via (907) 283-9125 to schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options.