Dental bridges are long-lasting, practical replacements for missing teeth. A dental bridge could last as long as seven to 10 years with proper care. When well-maintained, it could potentially last longer.
About Dental Bridges
A bridge is a restorative appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth. A bridge can replace up to four teeth in a row. Most bridges sit permanently between two dental crowns or implants since the extra forces applied would damage natural teeth.
Benefits of Bridges
Except for implant-supported bridges, you will not need surgery to receive a bridge. People who are not candidates for implant surgery due to their overall health or gum disease may receive bridges.
Bridges improve your appearance by eliminating gaps left by lost teeth. Today's bridges provide a seamless, natural look.
Types of Dental Bridges
A traditional bridge connects to two crowns on either side of the gaps, with the pontics (artificial teeth) attached in between.
Implant support adds more durability to the traditional dental bridge. Implant-supported bridges also do not damage the crowns or natural teeth beside them.
A cantilever bridge is a less common type that connects to the teeth only on one side. These bridges cause significant stress on the tooth to which they are attached.
A Maryland bridge attaches to the teeth using metal wings rather than crowns or implants as contact points.
Signs You May Need a New Dental Bridge
Bridges last for years but may need replacement due to ordinary wear and tear. Here are several signs that you should call the dentist about having your bridge evaluated:
- Sensitive teeth or gums near the bridge
- Loose feeling
- Chips or cracks in the bridge
- Pain when chewing or brushing teeth
Extending the Useful Life of Your Bridge
Excellent oral healthcare habits will help your bridge function well during its entire lifespan. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, if your dentist recommends it, will help keep your bridge clean and attractive.
To floss around a bridge, you will need a specialized tool called an interproximal brush. These brushes are inexpensive, and you can pick them up at any pharmacy.
Try to avoid grinding your teeth to help your bridge last longer. Avoid chewing ice and non-food objects like pens. Stay away from tobacco products to promote good gum health.
Call Dunedin Dental Associates
People with missing teeth often feel reluctant to smile. Fortunately, a dental bridge is a relatively affordable, permanent restoration that should last for years if you care for it.
If you have missing teeth and want to discuss receiving a dental bridge, call Dunedin Dental Associates at 727-734-3321. We can evaluate your oral health and help you decide on the best type of restoration.