ABOUT DENTAL BRIDGES
A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth. It consists of multiple units of crowns joined to replace a missing tooth (or a gap) in the centre. Not only does a dental bridge restore smiles and chewing functions, but it also serves an important purpose of preventing moving or Misalignment of existing teeth.
There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain fixed bridges are most popular because they resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.
- Fill space or replace missing tooth
- Maintain facial shape.
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
- Restore chewing ability.
- Helps with better speech and articulation by replacing missing teeth.
- Restore your smile.
- Alternate option or upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.
- Dental bridges are used with dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Dental bridge is an alternative option to implants when looking at replacement of missing teeth, Bridging is a “fixed” option, meaning it cannot be removed from the mouth like a partial denture for example. For this reason, it remains a popular option with patients who are unable to consider implant treatment.
The most important thing for a dental bridge is that there be teeth present on either side of the “gap” that is in the mouth. Made of a hard dental ceramic material, the design usually consists of crowns on either side of the gap, which anchor the bridge to these “support” teeth. Connected in the middle of these supporting crowns is the tooth or teeth that are missing (literally bridging the gap!).
At Spring Orchid Dental, an initial appointment is made to discuss your needs and expectations. Our experienced dentist explains the reason to advise on crowns and bridges and provides you with tailored Treatment plans suited to your needs.
We also provide you with an Information Pack, which provides you sufficient information such as benefits, risk, and procedure related to crowns and bridges. We provide you enough time and information to make an informed decision about your health.
Based on your decision a procedure appointment is booked. Again we discuss the treatment process with you in full length.
Bridging can be a great option when time is a factor – depending on the size and complexity, they typically take only two appointments to complete over a 2 week period.
On the first appointment, while the teeth are numb, tooth preparation is done in which the the two anchoring supporting teeth must first be “shaved down” by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown or the bridge, Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) and shade selection is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
This is followed by fitting of the permanent bridge at the second visit where the permanent crown is first checked for shade, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper and perfect fit. Occasionally, your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time once the dentist and patient are satisfied that the crown or bridge can be inserted permanently.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.
At Spring Orchid Dental we pride on quality and longevity of our crowns and bridges, but it is important for patients to keep up excellent oral hygiene habits once a bridge has been placed, as any problem with even just one of the anchor teeth can result in serious damage and eventual loss of the bridge. This is why, when it is feasible, implant treatment is considered to be the superior option for tooth replacement.
Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. On the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth are taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips and roof of the mouth may be numb. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness is completely worn off.
Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration.
To keep your temporaries in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss which may dislodge the temporary but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.
It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed by our office. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.
This really depends on many factors, mainly biological. Scientific studies tell us that ceramic treatments can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, teeth that are crowned and veneered can still decay underneath if they are not properly cleaned and looked after. Diet can also play a big role, with high acid and sugar diets creating problems. For these reasons it is very important that you keep up your regular maintenance visits so that the teeth and gums can be thoroughly checked and cleaned, prolonging the lifespan of your dental work.
Porcelain crowns and veneers do NOT stain and will NOT change colour, however those who have had their natural teeth whitened need to be aware that results WILL fade over time and will require some maintenance in the future.
In patients with a very heavy bite, and those who grind or clench their teeth (particularly at night whilst sleeping), ceramic work can become damaged in the same way as natural tooth enamel. For this reason it is important to identify these types of habits beforehand, so that measures can be taken to protect the teeth, ensuring your work lasts as long as possible.