What Are Dental Bridges Used For?
Dental bridges are essential restorative solutions designed to mend the gap that missing teeth can create. Dental bridges can replace your missing teeth, complete your smile, and allow you to bite down and chew foods with confidence once again.
We love the way dental bridges work because not only do they restore your beautiful smile, but they also maintain the shape of your face and evenly distribute the force of your bite. This prevents the remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Dental bridges also play a crucial part in your speech abilities. There's no denying the fact that our teeth play a significant role in creating certain sounds. So, tooth loss might result in speech impairment. These tiny restorative structures can make a significant difference.
We should also keep in mind that dental bridges are beneficial from an aesthetic viewpoint. They help to restore and revamp your smiles by filling in any empty spaces in your mouth. There's great satisfaction in regaining the smile you once had.
What is the Procedure for Getting a Dental Bridge?
The process of getting a tooth bridge is a multi-stage procedure. It begins with an initial consultation. This includes a dental examination where we will evaluate your dental health to determine if a dental bridge is the best solution for you. Within the scope of the consultation, X-rays may be taken and preliminary models of your teeth may be made.
The second stage involves preparing the abutment, or anchor teeth. A portion of these teeth will be trimmed to create space for the bridge. We will numb the area to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
We will then make an impression of these trimmed teeth. This will serve as a model for creating the bridge, including the replacement tooth and crowns for the abutment teeth.
To safeguard the exposed gums and teeth, a temporary bridge will be put in place while the permanent bridge is being made.
The final stage will be the placement of your new tooth bridge. After properly fitting the bridge and ensuring your comfort and satisfaction with your bite, the bridge will be cemented in place.
What materials are used for dental bridges?
Dental bridges can be made from various materials, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. The choice of material often depends on factors such as the location of the missing tooth, aesthetic preferences, and the overall oral health of the patient. Common materials used for dental bridges include porcelain fused to metal, all-ceramic or all-porcelain, zirconia, metal, and composite resin.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
This type of bridge consists of a metal framework covered with tooth-colored porcelain. The metal provides strength and durability, while the porcelain layer provides a natural appearance. However, over time, the metal may be visible as a dark line at the gumline, and some patients may be allergic to certain metals.
All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain
These bridges are made entirely of ceramic or porcelain material. They are known for their excellent aesthetic qualities, closely resembling natural teeth in color and translucency. All-ceramic bridges are a popular choice, especially for front teeth, due to their natural appearance.
Zirconia is a strong and durable ceramic material often used in dental restorations. Zirconia bridges offer high strength, excellent aesthetics, and biocompatibility. They are suitable for both front and back teeth.
Traditional metal bridges, often made of alloys like gold or palladium, are known for their strength and longevity. While they are durable, their metallic appearance makes them less popular for visible areas of the mouth.
Dental bridges made from composite resin are less common but may be used in certain situations. They are more affordable but may not be as durable as other materials, making them suitable for temporary solutions.
The choice of material depends on several factors, including the dentist's recommendations based on the specific needs of the individual.
What Are the Benefits of a Tooth Bridge?
Dental bridges are needed for several reasons, primarily to address the following dental issues:
|Missing Teeth: Dental bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth can lead to various problems, including difficulty chewing, shifting of surrounding teeth, and potential jaw joint issues. Bridges fill these gaps, restoring functionality and preventing further oral health issues.
|Aesthetic Improvement: Bridges contribute to the aesthetic enhancement of a smile by filling in gaps left by missing teeth. They provide a natural-looking replacement, enhancing overall facial appearance and boosting confidence.
|Maintaining Facial Structure: Missing teeth can lead to the loss of facial volume and a sagging appearance. Dental bridges help maintain the natural shape of the face by preventing the collapse of surrounding teeth and supporting oral structures.
|Chewing Functionality: Gaps caused by missing teeth can hinder proper chewing and digestion. Dental bridges restore the ability to chew food effectively, ensuring proper nutrition and overall well-being.
|Speech Improvement: Missing teeth can impact speech clarity. Dental bridges help in restoring proper speech patterns, preventing difficulties with pronunciation that may arise due to tooth loss.
|Preventing Tooth Movement: When a tooth is lost, adjacent teeth may shift or tilt into the empty space, causing misalignment. Dental bridges act as a stabilizing structure, preventing the movement of surrounding teeth and maintaining proper dental alignment.
|Distribution of Bite Forces: Dental bridges help evenly distribute the forces exerted during biting and chewing. This ensures that the remaining natural teeth and the dental bridge share the load, preventing excessive stress on individual teeth.
|Preserving Jaw Health: Tooth loss can lead to bone resorption in the jaw, resulting in a diminished jawbone. Dental bridges provide support to the jawbone and help prevent further bone loss, maintaining oral health.
Portland Dental Bridges
Our Portland dentist will consider both functional and cosmetic aspects when selecting the most appropriate type and material for your dental bridge. Contact us today at (503) 256-3737 if you have missing teeth and would like to replace them with a dental bridge.