Dental bridges may also be referred to as fixed partial dentures or pontics, which are the individual replacement teeth in the bridge. Dental bridges are used when you have lost several natural teeth side by side. The artificial teeth on a dental bridge give the illusion of a full set of natural teeth and they give you the same function as natural teeth as well. There are a few different types of dental bridges and the exact procedure depends on your specific condition and chosen type of bridge. We will explain this in further detail during your appointment at Southern Family Dental Care.
Bridges can either be fixed or removable. Fixed bridges are permanent while removable bridges can be taken out as needed. The most popular bridge type is simply called a traditional bridge. These involve one or more replacement teeth which are anchored to dental crowns on both sides. Traditional bridges can be either fixed or removable.
The other types of bridges are implant-supported, cantilever, and Maryland bridges. Implant-supported bridges are similar to traditional bridges, but they use dental implants as the anchors rather than dental crowns. These are more invasive and expensive, but also more secure, than traditional bridges. Cantilever bridges utilize a single dental crown for support. These are less invasive but are more susceptible to jaw and tooth damage because the crown becomes a lever. Maryland bridges are anchored to porcelain or metal frameworks. These frameworks attach to the back of the teeth located on each side of the gap. These bridges are less secure than other types, but they do allow you to preserve your natural teeth.
Traditional bridges begin with our dentist grinding the teeth on the sides of the gap in order to remove any tooth decay. They then get a dental impression so that the bridge can be sculpted specifically for you. Our dentist will place a temporary bridge that will provide function while our lab crafts your permanent bridge. This process can take a few weeks. The process for cantilever bridges looks very similar to this, with the only difference being that they only need one crown. Maryland bridges do not involve crowns and, therefore, do not need as much preparation.
Implant-supported bridges start with the implant surgery. Anesthetics are used with any invasive procedure, so you will not need to worry about any discomfort. After the implants are placed, our dentist will make a mold of your teeth to send to the lab. From there, the process is the same as with other bridges. In general, your bridge procedure will take two appointments with a few weeks in between each appointment.
It is normal to feel tenderness for a few weeks following the procedure. Anesthesia can also take one to two days to fully recover from. Dental bridge care is essential for preventing injury and infection. You will need to continue brushing and flossing daily. You will also need to come in for a routine cleaning every six months. Ask our dentist about any dietary restrictions following your appointment. To receive a dental bridge, call Southern Family Dental Care at 470-410-9774 now.