Missing teeth shouldn't cause you to miss out on life. If you have some gaps in your smile but are not quite sold on the idea of dentures, there are some other teeth replacement options that can complete your smile and restore your confidence.
What are Bridges?
Bridges are natural-looking, custom-made dental appliances consisting of an artificial tooth connected to a set of crowns. They're used to replace a section of missing teeth for smile coherency. Their customized nature makes them difficult to detect and they also help regulate the bite relationship between your upper and lower teeth.
Bridges are bonded to existing teeth or implants and can either be semi-permanent or fixed. Removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned, while fixed bridges can only be removed by your dentist.
Dental bridges are typically made of porcelain, gold alloys, or combinations of several materials.
What are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?
Besides helping to restore your smile confidence, bridges benefit your overall oral health by:
Filling the spaces between missing teeth
Helping to maintain your facial structure
Preventing remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Restoring your chewing and speaking abilities
Upgrading a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance
What's the Procedure for Dental Bridges?
The area to be treated is numbed and a dental handpiece is used to prepare the surrounding teeth for the bridge placement. Your dentist will then take an impression of your mouth and send it to a dental lab for preparation of the customized bridge. Meanwhile, you may be fitted with a temporary bridge to protect the teeth. When your bridge is ready, it will be bonded to the teeth using a permanent or semi-permanent solution, depending on the type of bridge being installed.
Best Practices When Caring for Bridges
Just as with crowns or any dental replacement solution, bridges can last a long time if cared for properly. Ensure that you're brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding brittle foods that can damage the bridges, and visiting your dentist for six-month checkups.