There are many options for restoration when you’re missing teeth. For one missing tooth or multiple consecutive missing teeth, a dental bridge may be right for you. Annapolis dentist, Dr. Scott Finlay, discusses the types of dental bridges and the benefits you can get from them.
What’s a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are used to replace a single tooth or consecutive missing teeth. It consists of dental crowns that are affixed to a device that links them all together. Bridges can be either fixed or removable. They’re made to look natural so that you can’t tell the difference between your existing teeth and the dental crowns. The crowns can be made from a variety of materials that look and feel similar to natural teeth.
With advances in dental technology, dental bridges are able to look much more natural. Previously, metal was often used to support the dental bridge. This often gave the look of a dark line where the restoration meets the gumline. Now, Dr. Finlay is able to use tooth-colored materials like zirconia to be the structure of the bridge. This means it can look more natural and you don’t have the appearance of the dark line.
Which Dental Bridge Type Should I Choose?
There are two types of dental bridges: removable and fixed. Removable dental bridges are often known as a partial denture or flipper tooth. A removable bridge is the cheaper option when it comes to dental bridges. However, it’s usually used for only short-term solutions. A removable bridge will often need to be repaired or replaced if it’s used for a long-term fix.
A fixed bridge is connected to dental crowns on either side of the bridge to keep it in place. If it’s a possibility, a bridge can also be supported by dental implants. Dental implant support is often preferred, as the bridge can put a lot of stress on natural teeth, even when they’re supported by dental crowns. If the supporting teeth already have crowns or fillings, it isn’t as much of an issue. Otherwise, you may be compromising healthy teeth.
The Dental Bridge Process
As with every dental procedure he performs, Dr. Finlay will start with a thorough examination of your mouth and teeth. Using modeling technology, a treatment plan will be determined to meet your goals.
The teeth on either side of the bridge will be prepared for the dental crowns. Molds will be taken of your teeth so that the crowns for the bridge can be modeled so that they match with the rest of your smile. While your permanent bridge is being made, you’ll be fitted with a removable bridge temporarily so that you have functionality.
When the permanent bridge is done, it’ll be tried on to ensure that it fits well and is exactly what you imagined. Minor adjustments are made if needed, and the bridge is permanently bonded to the anchor teeth.
Dental bridges do require a little bit of extra care to ensure that they stay working properly. Dr. Finlay will instruct you on how to floss under the bridge or use a Waterpik to remove particles from your gum line. Continuing your at-home oral care routine, as well as keeping up regular visits to your dentist, will be important to maintaining your dental bridge.
Dental Bridges at Your Dentist in Annapolis
As an experienced dentist, Dr. Finlay will help you make the decision of which form of bridge or tooth replacement is right for you. Call us today or schedule an appointment online to get started!