Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. These are cemented into place and cannot be removed by the patient. The bridge is made out of three pieces that fit into the open space in the mouth, "bridging" the gap. These are made of false tooth, held together by two crowns a "cap" that covers the tooth. These are then cemented to the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap. Almost everyone who has one or more missing teeth is a candidate for a dental bridge. However, the difference between proper and improper oral hygiene is, generally, what determines the success of the dental bridge.
There are several different types of dental bridges used for the missing tooth or teeth. Traditional bridge- here a false tooth is held firm together by 2 crowns. All three are then cemented to the abutment teeth. The abutment teeth are the teeth that are present in the vicinity of each side of the gap Resin Bonded Bridge- this is also famously known as the “Maryland bridge”. This procedure is commonly used when the missing teeth are the ones that are located in the front of the mouth. Here, the false teeth are fused to metal bands and cemented to the abutment teeth with resin cement. Cantilever bridge is the type of procedure which is most appropriate when there is only one abutment tooth on either side of the span.
The initial visit to the dentist would involve preparation of the abutment teeth. The recontouring is done by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Impressions of the teeth are then made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic and crowns will be made by a dental laboratory. The dentist will make a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums. During the second consultation with your Dentist, the temporary bridge would be removed and replaced with the permanent bridge. The new permanent bridge will be checked and necessary adjustments will be made to ensure a comfortable and proper fit. Multiple dentist visits may be necessary to check the metal framework. This again varies from case to case. Your dentist may temporarily cement the permanent bridge to keep it in place for a couple of weeks, to ensure it fits properly. Two weeks later the bridge would be permanently cemented into place. Oral health care and bridges: The following recommendations will help to eliminate, or reduce, any oral health problems while your teeth bonded by a bridge: * Brush your teeth carefully after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, as food may become lodged causing the gums and teeth to become infected. This may lead to further complications resulting in the loss of the bridge * Floss daily. Your dentist, or other oral health specialist, may recommend using a floss threaded for hard-to-reach places between the bridge and its adjacent teeth * Have your teeth cleaned every six months by an oral health professional * Limit your sugar and starch intake, as debris left behind from these types of foods may turn into damaging acids, which, in addition to promoting plaque formation, may also be harmful to teeth and gums * Avoid hard and/or sticky snacks. This includes foods such as popcorn, hard or chew candy, caramel and/or nuts
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