A dental bridge does exactly that! It bridges a gap where there is usually one tooth, but sometimes more teeth, missing. It is a prosthesis that is cemented onto the adjacent teeth or implant. So you don’t have to remove it at night, like a denture! Dental bridges can be made in a wide range of materials, from gold to porcelain. Bridges can help to improve the appearance and strengthen teeth affected by decay.
Types of Dental Bridges
A conventional bridge is where the false tooth or the pontic is attached to a dental crown. This type of bridge may use one tooth on either side of the gap, or both.
The major advantage here is no anesthesia is needed. This is a very minimal procedure. Good aesthetics can still be achieved, however, overall longevity may be reduced.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Easy Dental Treatment
Dental bridges are a relatively easy procedure to carry out and tolerate. Dental bridges require only local anesthetic. Dental implants can still be placed under local anesthetic but most people will opt for some form of sedation.
Bridges can be completed quickly, normally in 2-3 weeks. Dental implants require multiple surgeries and take many months to complete.
Implants tend to be expensive, Bridges can achieve similar results in a more cost-effective way. They are still a great way to restore the aesthetics of your smile.
Dental Bridges versus Dental Implants
Typically, bridges are covered by most dental insurance. Implants are less likely to be covered. The only way to know for sure would be to contact your insurance provider to be 100% sure.
How Long Will the Procedure Take?
A bridge can take 2-3 visits to be fitted, having it done within a month. An implant is an invasive procedure that requires multiple surgeries, recovery time, and take over several months.
How Long Will the Bridge Last?
Bridges, depending on the material, can last from anywhere from 5 – 12 years. Implants will need to be replaced less often but will require another surgery to replace. Both are subject to how well they are made, how well they are looked after, and how well they are placed.
What to Expect
This straight-forward procedure will happen over at least two visits.
At the first visit, you will receive local anesthesia to the area, so you won’t feel any pain. The dentist will then prepare the teeth to receive the bridge. This preparation depends on what kind of bridge you and your dentist have decided would be best for you. Your dentist will take some molds or impressions of your teeth, this is sent to the lab to have your new dental bridge created. Your dentist may then create a temporary prosthesis if needed.
At the second visit, you may be anesthetized and the temporary prosthesis will be removed. Your new dental bridge will then be cemented in place. Your dentist will then check your bite to make sure everything is fitting correctly. Finally, your dentist will discuss how to maintain your bridge with proper cleaning and regular check-ups.
If you are unsure if dental bridges are for you, it’s best to discuss this with your dentist.