Dental Bridges Can Restore Speech and Chewing
If you have missing teeth, a dental bridge can literally “bridge” the gap. A bridge is made of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap and a false tooth in between. The anchoring teeth on either side – either natural teeth or implants -- are called abutment teeth. The false tooth in a bridge is called a pontic.
What are pontics, or the false tooth in the bridge, typically made of?
Pontics are made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of those materials.
What are the benefits of getting a bridge?
Bridges can help restore your smile, restore the ability to chew and speak, maintain the shape of your face and prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position in your mouth.
What types of bridges does Main Street Dental offer?
There are three types of bridges.
- The most common is the traditional bridge, in which a pontic is placed between two crowned teeth. Traditional bridges are usually made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- A cantilever bridge is used when there is only one tooth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth.
- The third type of bridge, a Maryland bonded bridge, is made of plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal framework. Metal on both sides of the bridge is bonded to the adjacent teeth.
How many visits should I expect to schedule when getting a dental bridge?
Dental bridges require two visits to the dentist.
- During the first appointment, the dentist prepares the abutment teeth by removing some of the enamel to make room for dental crowns. Impressions of the teeth are made to serve as a model for the bridge, pontic and crowns, which are made at a dental lab. Patients are fitted with a temporary bridge to protect exposed teeth and gums while the permanent bridge is made.
At the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary bridge, check and adjust the permanent bridge and then cement it in place. The dentist might use temporary cement and ask you to visit again in a couple of weeks to check to fit before adhering the bridge with permanent cement.
How long do bridges last?
Bridges can last up to 15 years or longer. Their costs vary, but a portion of the cost is generally covered by dental insurance. Proper brushing and flossing around the supporting teeth will help maintain dental bridges.