What are dental bridges?

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What are dental bridges?

Oral health in America has improved a lot over the years, as health education and dentistry services have reached more and more people in the Grant Park area and beyond. However, dental health issues still remain a public health issue of the upmost importance: The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. When it comes to restoring teeth, patients have options. A common treatment for replacing a missing tooth are dental bridges, a fixed dental appliance that mimics the look of a natural tooth.

If you have one or more missing teeth and are ready to restore your full smile, contact Dr. Abbey Lee and our Grant Park dental team at 404.328.7177. Dr. Lee can help you receive dental bridge treatment or an alternative restorative treatment to make tooth loss like it never even happened.

Types of Dental Bridges

Different bridge designs allow dentists to fit a bridge based on a patient’s unique smile and budget. A fixed dental bridge is a restorative treatment custom-made for each patient to fit with their remaining natural teeth.

Three common fixed dental bridge varieties exist, including:

  • Traditional bridges: these restorations function best when healthy natural teeth are found on both sides of a missing tooth. Porcelain crowns are placed on each natural tooth to supplement their strength and provide extra support for the artificial tooth (or pontic) that is then “bridged” between. These bridges are the most common and are typically fabricated from porcelain or porcelain fused to metal.
  • Cantilever bridges: while similar to a traditional bridge, this design has only one supportive crown on one side of the pontic. Typically, these bridges are used in the front area of the mouth on teeth that do not support a large amount of biting force.
  • Maryland bridges: the final type of fixed bridge is composed of a pontic supported by metal or porcelain “wings” that are fixed directly to adjacent teeth, rather than dental crowns. Its strength is limited by the holding power of the resin material that keeps it in place. Therefore, this particular design may not be the most durable option for areas of the mouth where teeth are subjected to a great deal of biting pressure.

Lifespan of a Dental Bridge

Generally, fixed dental bridges last a minimum of five years, and a maximum of 15 years before needing to be replaced. Proper oral hygiene is crucial for patients with dental bridges, as the appliance can quite easily trap food debris and plaque underneath its structure.

Dr. Lee can recommend special dental cleaning tools like interdental brushes or oral irrigators to make cleaning underneath a bridge easier. With regular cleaning and regular check-ups at our Grant Park dental practice, you can expect to keep your dental bridge for 10 or more years!

If your dental bridge becomes uncomfortable or loose, schedule an appointment with our practice as soon as possible. Irritation from an ill-fitting bridge can lead to enamel erosion or gum recession, along with making chewing and speaking painful.

Contact Your Grant Park Dentist

Dr. Abbey Lee is a comprehensive dentist who can help you not only provide cosmetic treatments and preventive care, but crucial restorative care, too. Schedule an appointment with your local Grant Park dentist today to make embarrassing and dysfunctional tooth loss a thing of the past. Reach a member of our team today at 404.328.7177.

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