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Dental Bridges: All About Bridging the Gaps


When people are missing teeth, it can greatly affect their appearance as well as their smile. It can also affect the way they talk, eat and generally how they handle themselves in social situations because when you have missing teeth, smiling and talking are the last things you want to do.

Unfortunately, many people suffer from tooth loss, mainly due to tooth decay, diseases like gingivitis or accidents. Missing teeth can cause changes in your bite, cause your teeth to drift out of position, speech impediments and increase your risks of periodontal diseases and extensive tooth decay that can affect your other healthy teeth. Dental bridges are the best solution to fix the problems caused by missing teeth and to prevent other potential problems from happening.

Among the many benefits of dental bridges in addition to restoring your smile by bridging the gaps between your teeth, are the fact that they can restore your ability to chew and talk, maintains the shape of your face, distributes the force of your bite properly and prevents your remaining teeth from drifting out of position.

There are also several types of dental bridges that one can choose from and they are as follows: traditional bridges, which are the most common type of bridges made from either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. It involves creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth with a pontic or artificial tooth in between.

Cantilever bridges on the other hand are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth while Maryland bonded bridges which are also referred to as resin-bonded bridges, are made with plastic teeth and gums that are supported by a metal framework. The metal wings on each side of the bridge are the ones bonded to your existing teeth.

Once your dentist decides that bridges are your best option, your treatment planning will start with him discussing the materials that can be used for your bridges, including the costs and pros and cons of each. The suitability of the bridges will also depend on several factors like if you grind your teeth and your dental insurance coverage.

The process of getting dental bridges is simple enough as well – it starts with the preparation of your abutment teeth, which involves re-contouring them by removing a certain amount of enamel to allow room for the crown to be placed over it. Next, a model or impression of your teeth will be made to serve as a reference for the pontic, bridge and crowns that will be made by the dental lab technician. In the meantime, you will be wearing a temporary bridge to protect the exposed teeth while your permanent one is being made.

Once your new bridges are ready, they will be checked and adjusted as much as necessary to get them properly fitted. Follow up visits will then be required to check the metal framework and bite. If you get a fixed bridge, the dentist may cement it in place temporarily to make sure it fits properly.

As far as the cost is concerned, there are many influencing factors that comprise the cost of dental bridges like the materials to be used because the higher the level of manufacturing to be used, the higher the price. There’s also the experience and expertise of the dentist you go to and the number of appointments that you go to including post-procedure appointments. Other factors include location and the percentage of coverage your dental plan offers.

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