What are Dental Bridges?
There are two types of bridges: an implant-supported bridge and a regular dental bridge. These structures are known as dental bridges because of their close resemblance to the architectural structure of an actual bridge. A regular dental bridge is used when there is a gap or a space between two teeth, and the patient’s natural teeth will act as an “anchor” to secure the prosthetic tooth replacing the space. An implant-supported bridge is used when more than one tooth is missing, or one implant would not be able to withstand pressure on its own. An implant is put in place of a missing tooth, and crowns, or abutment teeth, are put on either side of the implant to support it.
Benefits of dental bridges:
- Improved facial structure.
- Improved bite and chewing ability.
- Improved speech.
- Improved self-esteem.
- Keeps teeth in position.
The abutment teeth are prepared first and this involves Dr. Ellis removing enamel from the teeth so that a crown can be placed over them. Impressions of these teeth are then made and sent to a dental lab. The lab will use this impression to make the bridge. The same day your abutment teeth are prepared and impressions are made, Dr. Ellis will create a temporary bridge for your mouth until the permanent bridge is done. Once your bridge arrives, Dr. Ellis will make sure it fits properly, and that the patient is satisfied with the appearance and function. It will be permanently cemented into the patient’s mouth once this is determined. Implant-supported bridges are done the same except that instead of crowning the natural teeth, an implant is placed on each side of the false or prosthetic tooth.