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If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be considering a dental bridge as a way to restore your smile and improve your oral health. At Bright Smile Family Dentistry in Edmond, Oklahoma, we offer a range of dental bridge options to suit the needs of our patients. Take a look at the different types of dental bridges available, the procedure for placing a bridge, and the benefits of this restorative dental treatment.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are several types of dental bridges available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Here’s a brief overview of the main types of bridges offered at Bright Smile Family Dentistry:
- Traditional Bridge — A traditional dental bridge consists of one or more false teeth, known as pontics, which are supported by crowns placed on adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is a tried-and-true option for replacing missing teeth and is often made from porcelain or metal.
- Maryland Dental Bridge — A Maryland dental bridge uses a metal or porcelain frame attached to a false tooth. This type of bridge is more conservative than a traditional bridge, as it requires less preparation of the surrounding teeth.
- Cantilever Bridge — A cantilever dental bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, but it is supported by just one anchor tooth instead of two. This type of bridge is typically used when there is only one natural tooth available to serve as an abutment, such as a back molar.
- Implant-Supported Bridge — An implant-supported dental bridge uses dental implants to secure the bridge in place. This option is ideal for patients who are missing multiple teeth and want a more permanent solution.
Procedure for Dental Bridges
The procedure for placing a dental bridge typically involves two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the anchoring teeth or implants are prepared and shaped to receive the crowns that will support the bridge. Molds of the teeth are also taken and sent to a dental laboratory, where the bridge is custom-made. In the meantime, a temporary bridge may be placed to protect the prepared teeth and allow the patient to eat and speak comfortably.
During the second visit, the permanent dental bridge is carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented in place. The entire process usually takes about two weeks.
What Do Dental Bridges Look Like?
Dental bridges are designed to blend in with the surrounding teeth and appear natural. They are typically made from porcelain or metal, and may be matched to the color of the patient’s natural teeth. A dental bridge typically consists of one or more pontics (false teeth) supported by crowns placed on adjacent teeth or implants. The pontics are designed to fill the gap left by missing teeth, while the crowns hold the bridge in place and provide support for the pontics.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
With proper care and maintenance, a dental bridge can last for many years. However, it’s important to keep in mind that dental bridges are not permanent, and may eventually need to be replaced. On average, a dental bridge can last for 5-15 years, depending on the type of material used, the patient’s oral hygiene habits, and the condition of the surrounding teeth.
Do Dental Bridges Hurt?
Placing a dental bridge is generally a comfortable and painless procedure. During the procedure, local anesthesia will be used to numb the area, so the patient should not feel any discomfort. Some patients may experience mild soreness or sensitivity after the procedure, but this can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
Are Dental Bridges Removable?
Most dental bridges are fixed and cannot be removed by the patient. However, there are some types of removable dental bridges available, such as partial dentures. These bridges can be taken out by the patient for cleaning and maintenance, and are typically held in place by natural suction or clips.
What Are Dental Bridges Made Of?
Dental bridges can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, metal, or a combination of the two. The type of material used will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the patient, as well as the location and function of the bridge. Porcelain bridges are typically used for cosmetic purposes, as they can be matched to the color of the surrounding teeth and offer a natural-looking appearance. Metal bridges are generally stronger and more durable, and may be recommended for back teeth or in cases where the bridge will be subjected to heavy chewing forces.
Can Dental Bridges Be Repaired?
Dental bridges can be damaged or broken. If a dental bridge becomes damaged, it may be possible to repair it, depending on the extent of the damage. In some cases, a broken pontic (false tooth) can be replaced, or a damaged crown can be refitted. However, if the damage is too severe, the entire bridge may need to be replaced.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges offer a number of benefits for patients who are missing one or more teeth, including:
- Improved oral health — Dental bridges can help prevent the remaining teeth from shifting out of position, which can lead to problems with bite and jaw alignment. They can also restore chewing and speaking abilities, and improve the overall function of the mouth.
- Enhanced appearance — Dental bridges can fill in gaps left by missing teeth, restoring the appearance of the smile and improving self-confidence.
- Maintained facial shape — Missing teeth can cause the facial muscles to sag, leading to an aged appearance. Dental bridges can help maintain the natural shape of the face by replacing the missing teeth and providing support for the surrounding muscles.
- Permanent solution — Unlike removable dentures, dental bridges are a permanent solution for missing teeth. They are cemented in place and cannot be removed by the patient.
Ready to Achieve a Beautiful and Healthy Smile?
If you’re considering a dental bridge, look no further than Bright Smile Family Dentistry in Edmond, Oklahoma. Our experienced team of dentists is dedicated to providing high-quality dental care in a comfortable and welcoming environment. We offer a range of dental bridge options (as well as other services) to suit the needs of our patients, and our state-of-the-art facility is equipped with the latest technology to ensure the best possible results. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile with dental bridges!