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As many of us know, when you have a missing tooth, it can be difficult to communicate, speak, bite or even eat effectively. When a tooth is missing, it is essential to visit your dentist to discuss the dental options for replacement.
Dental bridges are utilized in dentistry to replace missing teeth and provide a dental prosthesis that connects the adjoining teeth. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth are called abutment teeth and the replacement tooth is called the pontic (false tooth). The pontic teeth are usually made from gold, porcelain alloys, or a combination of materials. The anchor teeth (abutment teeth) can be your natural teeth or implants and they act as the main support for your bridge. Fixed bridges are strong and reliable and in most cases, they feel and look very much like natural teeth!
Dental Bridges have been an integral part of modern dentistry since the early part of the last century and prior to the use of dental implants was the preferred method for replacing missing teeth. Bridge technology is still viable and therefore we’ll be sharing some basic information and discussing the advantages (in certain cases), bridges can provide over dental implants. This is in lieu of the fact that dental implants are now the tooth restoration treatment method of choice for us and most dentists globally!
Our Restorative dentist and Crown and Bridge Specialist (prosthodontist) will provide you with the best choice for you to decide whether you're the right candidate for a bridge or not. In order to even consider the design and construction of a dental bridge, two stable, healthy, abutment teeth must be factored into the equation. X-rays and a thorough oral examination will be carried out to assess the adjacent teeth prior to providing you with a dental bridge option.
Before either a crown or a bridge can be made, the adjacent teeth (abutment teeth) must be reduced by contouring and reshaping them by removing enough tooth enamel to provide space for a dental bridge to be mounted on top of the remaining tooth stub. The removal of your anchor teeth's original shape and structure is the biggest disadvantage associated with traditional dental bridge designs. This causes the loss of significant amounts of healthy tooth tissue which can weaken the tooth, reducing its longevity potential.
In contrast, bridge restorations that are designed and supported exclusively by dental implants, offer a big plus to the adjacent natural teeth which will remain unscathed during the treatment process.
Before your dental bridge is made our prosthodontist will take an impression and perhaps, a digital scan of your mouth! The subsequent results will produce an exact model which will be used in the fabrication of your bridge. Using this impression, a dental lab then makes your crown or bridge, in the material your dentist specifies. If porcelain is to be used, our restorative dentist will determine the correct shade for the crown or bridge to match the color of your existing teeth.
The entire dental bridge making process is overseen by a master dental lab specialist. The crowns will fit like a glove onto your anchor teeth, because once your final bridge is cemented into place it'll be with you for a long time.
A temporary crown or bridge will be put in place to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown or bridge is being made. When the permanent crown or bridge is ready, the temporary crown or bridge is removed, and the new crown or bridge is cemented over your prepared tooth or teeth.
Fixed bridges are strong and reliable and in most cases they feel and look very much like natural teeth. Dental bridges can last 5 – 15 years and even longer if they remain stable, and if your personal hygiene and home care is maintained at a high level.
While dental crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease (dental decay, cracked teeth, dental infection). Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily. Also visit us at TDMC regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
This is an important question and it should be considered whenever you're thinking about using dental implants. Please note the examples shown below to illustrate this point!
Using implants to support a bridge is an excellent way to save costs, by spacing your implants apart it will make them easier to clean and maintain. If you can't clean around your implants well, then you risk the development of premature bone loss. At TDMC, we routinely refrain from placing more implants than are structurally needed, as it is our intention that the implants we do place will be stable, functional and long lasting
You still need to clean your teeth (synthetic or not) twice a day and floss at least once every day. This video shows the basics of good oral hygiene. Check with your National Dental Care practitioner if you’re unsure of your technique.
Make sure you have a checkup every six months, or more regularly if you have a concern about any tooth. Your National Dental Care practitioner will examine your mouth and inspect the margins of the tooth carefully for any signs of decay. Your dentist may take x-rays as part of this process.
There are many variables that can affect the price including :
At Therapeuo the starting cost for a porcelain fused to metal bridge for three teeth starts at Rs 21,000 (three individual crowns costing Rs.7000 each).
The Etruscan civilisation were the first to use crowns as a means of restoring damaged teeth? In fact, the materials they used – ivory, gold and bones – were still the standard in dentistry as recently as the 20th century, when porcelain crowns were first invented. Today, crowns and bridges are customised specifically for the patient’s bite and can usually be placed in as little as two dental visits. With proper cleaning and regular dental check-ups, crowns and bridges can last many years, or even a lifetime.