A healthy smile can go a long way in helping you make a good first impression on the people you meet. This is especially important for those who work in industries that require them to be immaculately presented when dealing with clients and members of the public. A missing tooth not only puts a dent in your confidence, but it can also lead to other problems such as difficulty chewing and speaking. Gaps between the teeth can also cause the surrounding teeth to move out of place. One of the most common types of restorative dental procedures is known as a bridge or partial denture and can completely transform your smile as well as improve your self-image.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is used to fill the space left by a tooth that has been lost or removed. There are three main types of dental bridge that are used by dentists. Traditional bridges attach a replacement tooth made from either porcelain or ceramic to the two teeth on either side of the space. The surrounding teeth are filed down and fitted with crowns that help to hold the new tooth in place. A cantilever bridge is used when there are teeth on only one side of the gap to secure the replacement tooth. The cheapest and most simple option is the Maryland bonded bridge that consists of plastic teeth and gums that are secured in place using a metal framework.
How to Care For Dental Bridges
Caring for a dental bridge is similar to caring for your regular teeth. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time to prevent the build-up of plaque. It is also important to floss in between your teeth to remove any trapped pieces of food and bacteria. The same care should be extended to your dental bridge, but you should be extra careful when flossing to ensure you do not loosen the structure. Never bite down on hard substances if you have a dental bridge fitted as it may not be as strong as your regular teeth. If you clench or grind your teeth during the night, a mouth guard will help to prevent damage to your bridge.
Fitting a dental bridge often requires multiple appointments. Your dentist will start by preparing the surrounding teeth to receive the crowns that will help to hold the bridge in place. He will then take impressions of your teeth to prepare the bridge and ensure it fits perfectly into your mouth. Once the bridge is ready, your dentist will cement it into place and check that it is comfortable and you can bite down without any problems. Some dentists will request a follow up appointment after a few weeks to ensure the bridge is still in place and does not affect your chewing or speaking. As long as you take good care of your bridge, you can expect it to last up to 10 years without needing replacement.