A BRIEF GUIDE OF DENTAL BRIDGE
A dental bridge fills up the space between the missing teeth, as the name suggests. It usually comprises two or more crowns making up for the gap, and fills it. It needs healthy teeth on either side of the gap called abutment teeth. The hole is usually filled with false teeth called pontic. The bridge can be made up of porcelain, gold, and silver.
Dental bridge aids in restoring your smile. The lifespan of a dental bridge is usually five to seven years. But if one takes care of it by proper cleaning and flossing, they may last for ten years.
Types Of Dental Bridges:
- Traditional Bridges: It is the most common type of bridge, which is well-built and long-lasting if taken care of properly. It consists of two or more crowns made up for the tooth on either side of the gap, with pontic in between. They are made up of metal, porcelain infused to metal or ceramic.
- Cantilever Bridges: In this type of bridge, healthy teeth are present only on one side of the gap. It is not recommended anymore and not advised for back teeth as it may pressure other teeth. The bridge is made up of porcelain fused to metal.
- Maryland Bonded Bridges: Maryland bridges are the least invasive bridges. They support the gap with pontic teeth (false teeth), supported by wings attached to the adjacent teeth. As the bridge adheres to its adjacent teeth, a slight pressure can easily loosen them. It is why; it is used for incisors (front teeth), not canines or molars. It is also made up of porcelain infused with metals.
- Implant-Supported Bridges: Implants support this type of bridge rather than a teeth framework. They help in supporting back teeth, premolar and molar teeth. It also helps in saving costs.
Advantages Of Dental Bridges:
- Bridges Are Cost-Effective: Bridges are less expensive than implants, as they are not as invasive as implants. Moreover, they do not require much precision either. Due to this reason, they are much reasonable and favorable over the implants.
- No Need For Bone Grafting: When there is a gap in teeth, it causes pressure and a shift in the jawline of the mouth, causing it to be weakened. Bone grafting is done by placing a bone fragment under the gums To strengthen the jawline. But in the case of bridges, bone grafting is not needed.
- The Predominance Of Bridges Over The Dentures: In bridges, the healthy teeth surrounding the gap hold the bridge, not the gums. Therefore, if the patient has healthy teeth to hold the bridge, it is preferred over the dentures, which need to be anchored on gums.
- Easy And Comfortable Option: Bridges are fast and easy to place. They don’t need bone grafting. Even if implants are required to hold the bridge, it is still an accessible and quick method. With time, the feel of the bridge is also reported to be comfortable. Their color and feel make it the comfortable option than other treatments.
Moreover, maintenance is also easy. There are no follow-ups required unless the patient develops plaque buildup or has painful gums.
- Restoration Of Smile: Bridges have aesthetical importance. They not only fill the gap of the broken tooth, but they also are of the same color as other teeth. It helps in raising your confidence and maintains your smile.
- Long-Lasting: Bridges can last up to five to seven years. But if taken care of it, they are long-lasting up to ten years.
- Aids In Mouth Functions: Due to the gap in the jaw, pressure on teeth to shift occurs that may cause problems in biting. The bridge holds the teeth in place and minimizing the risk of moving of teeth. It also maintains the facial structure and jaw. Moreover, it also helps in speaking; as the gap of teeth harms other teeth, it also shifts the placement of teeth. Therefore, a bridge helps maintain the functions of the teeth, tongue, and jawline of the mouth.
Disadvantages Of Dental Bridges:
- Not Permanent Solution: Even though bridges are easy to place and can last for ten years, they are not permanent solutions. Doctors may replace them after their shelf life, but their damage to the healthy teeth is forever.
- Need Healthy Teeth To Anchor Bridges: One of the significant drawbacks of the bridges is that healthy teeth are responsible for holding the bridges in place. The teeth that have the bridge are to be shaved or filed, causing them permanent damage.
- Need Proper Care: Bridges need proper cleaning and flossing to maintain them for a long time. But due to the crowns, it is difficult to floss, leading to the formation of plaques and painful gums.
- Possible Nerve Damage: It is a rare risk associated with nerve damage that can lead to a root canal. It may be due to the shaving and filing of healthy teeth to hold the bridge.
- Doesn’t Correct Bone Loss: The gap due to the lost tooth poses pressure on the jawline to maintain its shape. While bridges are placed on the top of the gum, they do not need grafting to hold the gum and stop the bone loss. In contrast, implants keep the jawline by placing its roots deep in the jaw bone.
Dental bridges are an easy and affordable procedure. It helps fill the gap of the teeth, maintaining the smiles and normal functions of the mouth. But since it utilizes healthy teeth, it may damages the teeth and cause nerve damage. Proper attention is needed to clean and floss to maintain its long life, up to 10 years.