A dental bridge typically consists of two or more specially fitted crowns that are placed on the abutment or anchoring teeth on either side of the space formed by your missing tooth or teeth. Fixed bridges are strong and reliable and in most cases, they feel and look very much like natural teeth.
Bridges have been an integral part of modern dentistry since the early part of the last century and prior to the use of implants was the preferred method for replacing teeth. Bridge technology is still viable and therefore we’ll be sharing some basic information and discussing the advantages (in certain cases), bridges can provide over dental implants. Dental implants are now the tooth restoration treatment method of choice for most dentists for missing teeth.
The pontic’s are the false teeth that fill gaps between the abutment teeth, and they’re usually made from gold, porcelain alloys, or a combination of materials. The anchor teeth can be your natural teeth or implants and they act as the main support for your bridge.
order to even consider the design and construction of a dental bridge, two stable, healthy, abutment teeth must be factored into the equation. Preparing them includes contouring and reshaping them by removing enough teeth enamel to provide space for a crown to be mounted on top of the remaining tooth stub. The removal of your anchor teeth’s original shape and structure is the biggest disadvantage associated with traditional dental bridge designs. This causes the loss of significant amounts of healthy tooth tissue which can weaken the tooth, reducing its longevity potential.
In contrast, bridge restorations that are designed and supported exclusively by dental implants, offer a big plus to the adjacent natural teeth which will remain unscathed during the treatment process.
Before your dental bridge is made you’ll need to have standard impressions taken and perhaps, a digital scan of your mouth. The subsequent results will produce an exact model that will be used in the fabrication of your bridge. The entire dental bridge making process should ideally be overseen by a master dental lab specialist. The crowns should fit like a glove onto your anchor teeth because once your final bridge is cemented into place it’ll be with you for a long time.
Fixed bridges are strong and reliable and in most cases, they feel and look very much like natural teeth. Dental bridges can last 5 – 15 years and even longer if they remain stable, and if your personal hygiene and home care is maintained at a high level.
Please be advised, if something goes seriously awry with one of your abutment teeth, your entire dental bridge could be compromised. For example, if you develop a deep cavity, infection or periodontal (gum) disease with either supporting tooth, then you may lose the entire bridge. Therefore the space involved, design, fit and loading capacity, along with the diagnosis of whether to do a bridge or not is critical.
A common error when making a dental bridge is their often too long. According to physical law (Ante’s Law), the longer the span of the bridge, the more force is placed on the abutment teeth. This excessive force can cause intolerable stress on the adjoining abutment teeth. Therefore careful consideration of the biting forces, relative to your you eat determines what should be done.
The biggest disadvantage of dental bridges is tooth preparation, especially if it involves young teeth with little or no restorations. We really don’t like preparing these virgin teeth to act as abutments, because studies indicate that these young teeth will most likely need Root canal treatment in the future.
This condition occurs because preparing a tooth or teeth for a dental bridge is still an injury to the tooth. Reducing much of the enamel from your tooth can lead to inflammation of the nerve which leads to sensitivity or pain, a side effect occurring in 1-3% of cases. To reduce or prevent this unnecessary side effect from occurring, at WIC we rely on a special minimally invasive lab process to prepare your tooth/ teeth. This technique allows for the creation of strong crowns, requiring only 1mm of support tooth prep, and also limits the heat generated during the process. As a result, we can reduce the incidence of side effects to less than 1 in 500 cases.
Some of the advantages of dental bridges:
This is an important question and it should be considered whenever you’re thinking about using dental implants. Please note the examples shown below to illustrate this point.
Let’s say you have two broken down teeth next to the missing space.
This is a perfect example of why you should consider a dental bridge, as both of these teeth require crowns to protect them from future breakage disease or decay. It is mandatory for the long term health and functionality of the teeth that they are examined thoroughly and carefully considered. We must make sure they’re stable (no movement), the roots are long enough, and you have enough teeth remaining to support this bridge.
A focus on esthetics may also guide you to decide on a traditional bridge over an implant. Sometimes placing an implant can jeopardize the gum situation if the gum height is already low.
Patients with a very high and visible smile line need to carefully consider both possibilities. If you cannot have a dental implant due to medical reasons, Changing plans and doing a bridge is better. There are many cases in which esthetics drive the decision for a dental bridge or implant, with a bridge you can instantly control the color and shape of adjacent teeth.
Another strong advantage is that bridges can be done quickly There is another reason why installing dental bridges makes sense, and it’s directly related to a patient’s health condition and concerns. Some patients are not capable of undergoing implant or other larger surgical procedures due to cancer, diabetes, certain medications, or autoimmune disease. Furthermore, because of your unique oral condition, you may not want to engage in a complex bone reconstruction or implant surgery.
You may choose to go with a bridge if you have very little bone, which requires an extensive bone grafting procedure in order to safely support an implant.
The more extensive the grafting procedure, the greater the risk of graft and or, implant rejection. It’s important you fully understand the risks and possible complications associated with a bone graft procedure, research shows a 45% failure rate with some techniques.
All of this can be minimized and eliminated with careful planning and if the procedures are performed under the care of a competent and reputable surgeon.
Some important factors to consider about dental bridges:
Whitehills Dental Practice in Bendigo can provide you with everything you need to know about bridges, implants, and any other dental specialty you may be seeking.
Having worked as a dentist since 1999, I have had the opportunity to serve in a vast variety of dental-practices. Having accumulated a huge amount of experience of the ‘good’, ‘not so good’ and out rightly ‘bad’ services and experiences which are provided to our patients in this industry, I am trying to attempt to change the perception and opinion that people have about ‘The Dentist’.
It is sad that Dentists have managed to earn so much hatred over the years, and are a feared species in today’s society.
This needs to change…..
We are trying to make our humble, but sincere effort towards thus noble cause.
Besides general dentistry , I like to do wisdom tooth extractions , Smile makeovers , Replacement of missing teeth using various techniques including implants and full mouth rehabilitation. I especially like to treat elders who are missing teeth. To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the smile on their faces after they get back their missing teeth
I have a special interest in implant dentistry as well as specific training for this from the prestige Royal College of Surgeons of England which is called as- Diploma in implant dentistry, Royal college of surgeons of England.
I’m a local Bendigo girl who has been here all my life, I love spending time with my family and friends. Having experience as a Medical receptionist, I am very excited to create a new career in the Dental world.