Dental Bridges: What Are They, Who Needs Them, Types, and Procedure

Dental Bridges: What Are They, Who Needs Them, Types, and Procedure

Nov 01, 2020

Is your smile marred because of missing teeth? Have you ever thought of getting dental bridges? Dental bridges in Westwood, MA, are an excellent solution for replacing missing teeth. Living with missing teeth is no fun, and it can affect your oral health. Your other teeth may become loose, your speech may change, and you might not enjoy your meals as you are used to.

Having missing teeth is common; in fact, in America alone, the average adult has lost at least two teeth. Most of the time, people lose their teeth due to gum disease or tooth decay, or trauma. Regardless of the reason, finding the right tooth-replacement will make the most significant difference.

Dental bridges are one of the widely used restorative options that our general dentist near you offers. Read on to see what they are about.

Dental Bridges, In a Nutshell

Just as the name suggests, dental bridges are designed to “bridge” the gap when you lose a tooth. In other words, the bridge is designed to fill the space where your tooth occupied, thus restoring your smile.

Bridges have been used for several decades and have been evolving and are better than when they were invented. There are four different types that are designed to cater to different needs. However, a typical bridge looks like this:

  • Abutment teeth. These are two artificial crowns that are placed on either side of the gap. These crowns provide the needed anchorage because they are placed over your natural teeth or dental implants.
  • Pontics. This is the false tooth that fills the gap. It is attached to the abutment teeth.

Why Do You Need a Bridge?

Your teeth were designed to work in concert. When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth may start moving into that space. Also, the teeth in the opposite jaw may move toward that gap. This can lead to:

  • Chewing difficulties
  • Bite issues
  • Self-consciousness about your smile
  • Pain from the extra stress on your jaw and teeth

However, a dental bridge can address help you avoid the above changes and help you to:

  • Restore your smile
  • Restore your pronunciation and speech
  • Keep your natural teeth in their position
  • Restore your chewing ability
  • Maintain the shape of your face

Types of Bridges

Our dentist in Westwood offers four types of bridges, depending on your specific needs. These are:

    • Traditional Fixed Bridge

Among the four types of bridges, this is the one that is used the most. They are the best solution when you have natural teeth that surround the gap. They have one pontic (artificial) tooth that is attached to two abutment teeth.

They are typically fashioned from porcelain or ceramic fused to metal. They are sturdy and can replace molars. The only issue is that your natural teeth have to be prepared for the crowns to fit in order for the abutment to be secured. This means that some of the enamel has to be removed so that the crowns can fit.

    • Cantilever Bridges

These are similar to traditional fixed bridges; the only difference is that instead of the pontic being attached to two teeth, it’s connected to one. An excellent option if you have one natural tooth only on one side of the gap.

    • Maryland Dental Bridge

This bridge is used to replace front teeth. They are made of ceramic teeth, which are supported by a framework or porcelain fused to metal. They are also known as the resin-bonded bridge.

    • Implant-Supported Bridge

An implant bridge is quite similar to traditional bridges. The significant difference between them is that it is not held in place by natural teeth, but dental implants are used as anchorage.

Bridge Placement

During your visit, our dentist will prepare the abutment teeth during your initial visit. This will mean that some of the enamel will be removed to create room for the crowns.

Getting a dental impression is necessary because this is used by our dentist to create the pontic and the crowns. You will receive a temporary dental bridge that aids in protecting your teeth that have been exposed.

During the second visit, you will receive your bridge, and the temporary dental bridge will be removed. Our dentist will continue to make adjustments to ensure that it fits properly. Just like that, your smile is renewed.

The smile that you desire is not so far from you. You can contact us at the WDG, formerly the Office of Dr. Donald J. McLellan, and schedule an appointment if you need dental bridges in Westwood, MA.

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