The Role of Dental Bridges in Restorative Dentistry
In the realm of restorative dentistry, a dental bridge plays a pivotal role. As the name suggests, a dental bridge is a permanent appliance designed to 'bridge' the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Comprising several parts assembled to fit the open space perfectly, a dental bridge improves oral functions such as eating and speaking, as well as enhancing dental aesthetics.
Types of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges come in different varieties to cater to the individual needs of patients. The artificial teeth used in dental bridges, known as pontics, are crafted to match the shape and size of the missing tooth closely. Here are the four main types of dental bridges:
Traditional Fixed Bridges: This is the most prevalent type of dental bridge. It incorporates a crown on either side of the pontic.
Maryland Dental Bridges: Often used to replace front teeth, this bridge utilizes porcelain or metal frameworks with 'wings' bonded to the back of your teeth on either side of the gap, instead of crowns.
Implant-Supported Bridges: In this case, each missing tooth gets an implant surgically embedded into the jawbone. The bridge, with pontics, is put over them in a subsequent procedure.
Cantilever Bridges: These bridges are less common today. They come into play when only one side of the gap has a natural tooth, which is then anchored by a single crown.
Costs Involved in Dental Bridges
The cost of a dental bridge depends on various factors, including the complexity of work required and the type of bridge chosen. If additional treatments, such as addressing gum disease, are needed before the bridge procedure, the cost may rise. Without insurance, a dental bridge can range from $700 to several thousand dollars per tooth. For multiple teeth requiring implants and a bridge, the cost could exceed $10,000. However, some dental insurance plans may cover part or all of the cost of a dental bridge
Is a Dental Bridge the Right Choice for You?
While dental bridges offer several benefits, they might not be suitable for everyone. Factors such as overall health, oral health, the strength of remaining teeth, and bone structure are considered to determine candidacy for a dental bridge. Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for the long-term success of the dental bridge
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges offer numerous benefits including restoring a natural look to your mouth and smile, enabling normal speech, maintaining facial structure by preventing bone loss at the site of the missing tooth/teeth, aiding in better chewing of food, and preventing adjacent teeth from moving into the empty space, thereby averting bite and other complications.
Understanding the Risks of Dental Bridges
While dental bridges offer many benefits, it's important to be aware of potential risks. These include future damage to the abutment teeth compromising the bridge, tooth decay due to bacteria and plaque getting inside a poorly fitting bridge or crown, changes to the structure of your teeth affecting your bite, and weakening of the abutment teeth by the procedure.
In conclusion, dental bridges are a valuable solution in restorative dentistry to replace missing teeth. However, like all medical procedures, it's vital to discuss with your dentist to understand if it's the best option for you, considering both the advantages and potential risks.