¿ What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a dental appliance designed to substitute one or more missing teeth. These appliances are permanently cemented in place and cannot be removed by the patient.
¿ How is a dental bridge built?
As the name of this appliance implies, the bridge is composed of three pieces that fit in an open gap between the teeth, anchoring an artificial tooth to adjacent teeth or implants.
The most common type of bridge consists of a realistic looking pontic (or the false tooth) designed to cover the gap, tied by two crowns.
This trio is then joined (cemented) to adjacent teeth on both sides of the gap (i.e., to the surrounding teeth of each side of the gap).
¿ Who is a good candidate for bridges?
Almost everyone that has one or more missing teeth is a candidate for a dental bridge. However, oral hygiene is also a critical success factor because many times the difference between appropriate and inappropriate oral hygiene is what determines the success or failure of the dental bridge.
¿ What are the various types of dental types of bridges?
There are several different dental types of bridges.
Dr. E Esther Lopez and/or your oral health specialist will recommend the most appropriate one for you, given your mouth condition and the location of the missing tooth or teeth.
Traditional (also called conventional) bridge - a pontic (or the false tooth) is tied by two crowns.
This trio is then joined (cemented) to adjacent teeth on both sides of the gap.
Resin-Bonded bridge (also known as the Maryland bridge) - this type of bridge implies that the pontic or false teeth
rely on resin to attach to the adjacent teeth.
Cantilever bridge - this type of appliance might be the most appropriate when there is only one adjacent tooth suitable to support a bridge.
Medical care and oral bridges:
Dr. E Esther Lopez recommends the following preventive measures to help in eliminating, or reducing any oral health problems with your bridge:
- Brush your teeth carefully after each meal using a toothpaste containing Fluoride and a smooth-bristed toothbrush, as food particles can be lodged in cavities between the gums and the teeth.
The longer those food particles stay trapped in those cavities, the greater the chance the gum will become irritated and infected. This it can lead to other complications resulting in the loss of the bridge.
- Floss Daily. In addition, consult with Dr. Lopez about whether or not the use of a silk floss specially threaded for hard-to-reach places
between the bridge and its adjacent teeth is also appropriate for your specific case.
- Visit our office on a regular basis to receive the dental services you need in a timely manner. This is at least twice a year to have your teeth cleaned by our dental hygenists, and least once a year for a regular checkup.
- Limit products containing sugar or starch, since these types of food break down producing damaging acids, that,
besides promoting the formation of the plaque, can also be harmful the teeth and to the gums.
- Avoid hard bite and/or chewy products. This includes food such as caramel popcorn which is difficult to chew, hard candy, and/or nuts.
Most bridges would last between 8 to 10 years with appropriate oral hygiene.