What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are restorative fixtures used to replace missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth between existing ones. The adjacent natural teeth, called abutments, support the bridge. These are typically crowned to provide a solid base for the bridge. Materials like porcelain, ceramics, or metal alloys ensure the bridge blends with natural tooth color and withstands daily use. Dental bridges not only enhance the appearance but also restore the ability to chew and speak properly. They maintain the shape of the face and prevent remaining teeth from shifting. Regular dental visits ensure their longevity and proper function.

What they do?

  • Fill Gaps: Dental bridges close the spaces left by missing teeth.
  • Enhance Function: They restore the ability to chew and speak properly.
  • Aesthetic Improvement: Bridges improve the appearance of the smile.
  • Prevent Shift: They prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of position.
  • Preserve Facial Structure: Help maintain the natural shape of the face.

Why Should You Get a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a common solution for missing teeth, blending functionality with aesthetic appeal. Here’s why considering a dental bridge could be a wise decision for you:

  • Restores Functionality: A dental bridge restores the ability to chew properly and speak clearly. Missing teeth can impair these everyday functions, leading to frustration and inconvenience.
  • Avoiding Misalignment: When a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth can shift towards the gap. This movement may lead to misalignment and other dental issues. A bridge fills this gap, maintaining the integrity of your dental structure.
  • Enhances Appearance: Bridges are designed to look like natural teeth, enhancing the appearance of your smile and boosting your self-confidence.
  • Offers Durability and Convenience Dental bridges are a durable solution, often lasting up to 15 years or more with proper care. Unlike dentures, they are fixed and do not require removal for cleaning.
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to dental implants, bridges are more cost-effective and require less invasive procedures, making them an accessible option for many people.

In choosing a dental bridge for yourself, consider consulting with Anaya Dental Professionals to ensure it is the right option for your specific needs. This choice depends on various factors including the health of surrounding teeth, your overall dental health, and your personal preferences.

What Does a Dental Bridge Look Like?

A dental bridge is a device used to replace one or more missing teeth, bridging the gap between remaining natural teeth. It typically consists of two parts: the pontics and the crowns.

The pontics are the artificial teeth that fill the gap. They are usually made from porcelain to match the natural color of the surrounding teeth, ensuring a seamless appearance. Alternatively, materials like ceramics or composite resins might be used, particularly for their durability and aesthetic qualities.

Before and After
After and Before
Dental Bridge Types
Dental Bridge Parts

The crowns serve as anchors. They are placed over the natural teeth or implants on either side of the gap. These crowns hold the pontics in place, providing both stability and support. The design ensures that the bridge blends in with the rest of the teeth, both in function and appearance.

From the top, a dental bridge appears as a continuous series of teeth. However, from the side or beneath, you might notice the artificial base that supports the pontics. This structure rests directly on the gums or is anchored to dental implants.

The goal of a dental bridge is not only functional but also aesthetic, aiming to restore the patient’s smile and the natural contour of their face, while also enabling proper chewing and speaking.

How is Treatment Performed?

Initial Consultation – 1

  • Examination and Planning: During your first visit, we will thoroughly examine your mouth. We assess not only the gap left by the missing tooth but also the health of the teeth adjacent to the gap and your gums. This helps us determine if any additional dental work is needed before we proceed with the bridge.
  • Discussion of Options: We’ll discuss the various types of bridges available and help you choose the best one for your needs. Options typically include traditional bridges, cantilever bridges, and Maryland bonded bridges. These can be crafted from materials such as porcelain, ceramics, or metal alloys, depending on what best matches the strength and aesthetic needs of your mouth.

Preparation – 2

  • Tooth Preparation: We begin by reshaping the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side of the gap). This involves removing a portion of the enamel to make room for the crowns that will support the bridge. We ensure this is done carefully to protect the integrity of your teeth.
  • Impressions: Next, we take impressions of your teeth. These molds are crucial as they are sent to a dental lab where your custom bridge is made. The precision of these molds ensures your bridge will fit seamlessly with your natural teeth.
  • Temporary Bridge: While your permanent bridge is being made, we fit a temporary bridge. This protects the reshaped teeth and gums and allows you to eat and speak normally.

Bridge Creation – 3

  • Lab Work: The dental lab uses the impressions to meticulously craft your bridge. Attention to detail is key here to ensure that the color and shape of the bridge perfectly match your natural teeth.
  • Adjustments: When the bridge is ready, we have you come in for a fitting. This session is crucial for making any adjustments to ensure the bridge fits comfortably and looks natural.

Final Fitting – 4

  • Cementing: On your final visit, we carefully cement the permanent bridge into place. We take extra time during this visit to ensure that every aspect of the bridge fits perfectly.
  • Bite Check: We thoroughly check your bite to ensure it aligns properly. This step is essential for your comfort and the long-term functionality of the bridge.

Follow-Up – 5

  • Review: We schedule a follow-up visit to check on how you are adapting to your new bridge. This appointment allows us to confirm that the bridge is functioning well and that your bite is correct. It also gives us a chance to check the health of the bridge and the adjacent teeth.

Each of these stages may require separate visits, typically spread over a few weeks, to ensure the best outcome. The entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia to make it as comfortable and pain-free as possible. We at Anaya Dental, are committed to restoring not just the functionality of your teeth but also your confidence in your smile.