Traditional bridges are used to fill in areas where land is missing and similarly dental bridges are used to fill in areas where teeth are missing.
Dental bridges are false teeth used to fill gaps where a tooth has fallen out in order to improve the look and function of the teeth.
Teeth can fall out due to disease, decay and physical trauma, but bridges can be inserted to reconstruct a person’s smile and make sure that they don’t suffer any of the negative effects associated with tooth loss.
When a tooth falls out there is always a chance that the surrounding teeth will naturally shift to fill the empty space. There is also a chance that decay may occur in the surrounding teeth, or that gum disease and speech impediments may result from the loss of a tooth. In severe cases tooth loss can lead to a collapsed bite and jaw problems. Luckily, dental bridges can help prevent these problems by filling in the vacant space that is left when natural teeth fall out.
Dental bridges are most effective for people who have only a few missing teeth because when they are inserted they are usually anchored to surrounding natural teeth.
Dental bridges are made from porcelain and usually have a metal substructure. There are a few different types of bridges: fixed bridges, bonded bridges and cantilever bridges.
Fixed bridges are the most common type of bridge. When this type of bridge is inserted the two surrounding teeth must be affixed with crowns to hold it in place.
Bonded bridges can be less expensive than fixed bridges, but they are usually only offered to people whose surrounding teeth are healthy and free of filings. This type of bridge is affixed to natural teeth with metal wings that are permanently fastened in place on either side of the bridge.
Cantilever bridges are often applied to front teeth. These bridges are also used when a person only has a natural tooth on one side of the bridge, instead of on both sides. Unlike other bridges, which need to be attached to both surrounding teeth, cantilever bridges are designed to adhere just to the one natural tooth beside the bridge.
It is important to remember that the type of bridge that is necessary and the length of time it takes to have it inserted will depend on the size of the bridge needed and the extent of the problem that needs to be corrected.
Usually having a bridge will require at least four dental appointments after which diligent attention must be paid to care and cleaning to ensure that the bridge will last.