Dental bridges are used to eliminate gaps between missing teeth. A dental bridge refers to a custom-made product that consists of two crowns and a “bridge,” or a fake tooth, in between that fills the gap.
Your treatment can be completed in 4 days.
Check our before afters and happy smile reviews for DENTAL BRIDGES
Dental bridges are a common term in cosmetic dentistry. These structures are often prescribed to patients with damaged or missing teeth. Are you a possible dental bridge recipient? Then this article will help you understand what dental bridges are and how you can get them at a rate you can afford:
A dental bridge refers to a cosmetic structure that replaces one or more teeth. It’s made out of artificial teeth and a type of hook to fix it to the mouth. A dental bridge is typically supported by the teeth by the gap. So this structure literally bridges the gap between teeth.
Dental bridges are prescribed to replace missing teeth anywhere on your mouth. Dental bridges can be a cosmetic procedure as well, to improve your overall smile. There are many types of dental bridges and many options to consider.
Dental bridges are unique in the sense that you can replace several teeth at once with this single structure. You won’t need an implant per missing tooth. The procedure for getting dental bridges is not invasive either in most cases.
Getting a dental bridge can address a multitude of problems in your mouth that missing teeth can cause. For example, missing teeth causes your jawbone to lose tissue, possibly altering the structure of your face.
The teeth on the sides of a dental gap can drift apart as you age. This alters the even-ness of your smile. It could make it harder for you to bite as well. Your speech could be affected as a result of tooth loss. Dental bridges can step in to stall such complications and help you retain your original biting and speaking habits.
Just exactly why should you spend money and time on getting dental bridges? Here are the main advantages of dental bridges:
Replace missing teeth with functional artificial teeth
Aesthetically improve your smile
Restore your bite
Prevent facial sagging caused by missing teeth
Minimize the risk of jawbone losing density because of missing teeth
A more manageable and affordable alternative to dental implants
Dental bridges are largely classified into two types:
The above categorization refers to how dental bridges are placed in your mouth. Bridges cannot support itself, as it needs an anchor. Some dental bridges are supported by the teeth on either side of a gap. Others, though, are supported by a dental implant.
A dental implant forms the bottom half of an artificial tooth. An implant looks like a small screw. Dentists insert this surgically into your jawbone, and it fuses with the natural bone tissue overtime. When the implant is healed, it’s an effective artificial version of a natural tooth root.
Implants are fitted to a dental crown to form an artificial tooth. If there are several teeth missing, a dentist may bridge the gap with a dental bridge. Some popular missing teeth procedures, like All-on-4 uses dental implants and bridges to replace multiple missing teeth.
In the All-on-4 procedure, a dentist uses four implants on one arch of your mouth to replace a complete set of missing teeth. About a dozen teeth on an arch is entirely replaced by dental bridges over implants.
To understand dental bridges better, it’s important to understand what it’s made out of. One part of a dental bridge is how it’s anchored in your mouth, using either implants or teeth as mentioned above. After the anchor, there are two important parts of a dental bridge:
The abutment is a small structure that connects the dental bridge to either an implant or anchoring teeth. Usually, one abutment is used per crown, but there could be more depending on need. The abutment can be placed in a non-visible manner. It’s mainly considered a part that offers structural support to the dental bridge.
The pontic is the visible part of the dental bridge that imitates teeth. A dental bridge can have one or more pontic depending on how many teeth you are replacing. One pontic represents a single missing tooth.
The pontic isn’t just a visual addition to the dental bridge. It’s what gives your teeth functionality similar to real teeth.
The pontic, abutment, an implant or teeth completes all the parts of a dental bridge.
Your dentist will give you four different types of dental bridges to choose from. These types differ structurally, and overlaps with the dental bridge classifications mentioned above.
A traditional, or a standard, dental bridge is the simplest form of dental bridge supported by teeth. This dental bridge has one or more dental pontic as artificial teeth. The bridge is held together by the pontics, which are glued using a special cement.
Traditional dental bridges are the standard bridge treatment you get at most clinics. It’s popularly used and is well known to hold together. Traditional dental bridges are most suited when you have normal natural teeth strong enough to support a bridge.
A Cantilever dental bridge replaces only one tooth in a gap. It also requires only one tooth as an anchor.
A Cantilever dental bridge is cemented to a single natural tooth by the gap. So there’s only a single abutment. This is a very small type of dental bridge, used to treat narrow gaps.
A Maryland dental bridge looks just like a traditional one. It’s supported by two natural teeth on either side of the gap. But the similarities largely end there.
Standard dental bridges have pontics or dental crows as artificial teeth. But the Maryland bridges use metal or porcelain frameworks to support teeth. The pontic teeth are bonded to this framework.
Your dentist would ask you if you prefer an implant-based dental bridge, or one of the teeth supported ones mentioned above. Implant-based bridges are considered highly stable, and can replace multiple missing teeth in a row.
But this method may not be for everyone. It requires at least 2 oral surgeries to receive an implant-supported dental bridge. The first surgery inserts the implants to your jawbone. The second surgery places the bridge on the implants.
Though invasive with a painful recovery period, implant-supported bridges are reliable and long lasting.
The framework and pontics of dental bridges are made out of different material. What most patients are concerned about is what the pontics or crowns are made of.
The artificial teeth in the dental bridge can be made from metal, porcelain, or a combination of the two. It’s more common for dental pontics to be made from porcelain than metal these days. The porcelain in dental bridges is not the same as the porcelain in your vase. The medical grade material is chosen for its sturdiness, minimal risk of side effects, and aesthetic appeal.
Porcelain is really good at imitating natural teeth enamel. It can look white in a natural way. Once the pontics are constructed, it wouldn’t be easy to distinguish the fake porcelain teeth from the real ones unless someone is looking real hard.
Some people may choose metal because the material is more durable than porcelain. Metal crowns rarely break off, but may experience some wear. However, metal dental bridges stand out, so most patients don’t choose this material.
If you are getting a dental bridge with an implant, the implant would be made from titanium, a sturdy metal that fuses easily with bone.
The procedure for getting a dental bridge can vary depending on the type of bridge you are prescribed. It also depends on whether your bridge is permanent or removable.
The first stage of the procedure is similar regardless of the type of the bridge. It would begin when you go to the dentist and have your teeth examined. You can ask your dentist for bridges to replace missing teeth.
Your dentist would evaluate your teeth and gums to determine your suitability for the procedure. If you have gum disease, you may not qualify for permanent dental bridges. You can discuss the type of bridge you want, the materials, and whether you want it to be permanent or removable.
During the first visit, your dentist may prepare your teeth for receiving a dental bridge. This may involve cleaning out the tooth gap area by removing stubs of teeth. For bridges supported by teeth, your dentist may prepare the anchoring teeth as well.
Quite importantly, your dentist would take x-rays and make impressions of your teeth. These would be sent to a laboratory to design and sculpt the dental bridge. Your second visit would have to wait until the bridge is fully constructed.
Expect to wait more than a week for the dental bridges to get ready. Then you can head back to the dentist for the procedure. If your bridge is teeth supported, your dentist may have give you’re a temporary bridge during the first visit. It’s normal for the dentist to remove some enamel from anchoring teeth to prepare for the dental bridge.
During the second visit, the temporary bridge would come off. The dentist would check to make sure the new dental bridge is made according to measurements. For permanent dental bridges, the dentist would use a special cement to attach the bridge. You can try feeling how well the new bridge fits.
You won’t be able to bite down hard on anything until the bridge is fully attached to the teeth. This may take a day or even up to a week depending on the type of procedure. Your dentist will instruct you to wear the dental bridge for several days to ensure the fit.
If the fit is not right, you can go back to the dentist and make the necessary adjustments.
Getting removable dental bridges work the same way, except that the bridge is not attached to your teeth. Your dentist will show you how to put on the temporary bridge and remove it.
The procedure for dental bridges with implants requires oral surgery. The first stage of the procedure involves surgery to drill the implants into your mouth. Then you would have to wait up to 8 months for the implants to fully fuse into your jawbone. In the meantime, your dentist may provide a temporary dental bridge.
Once a checkup confirms that the implants are fused, there would be a second procedure the receive the dental bridge. Your dentist will make a small cut on the gum to expose the implants and then use an abutment to fix the implants to the bridge. The recovery time for this procedure is much shorter.
The implant-supported dental bridge procedure is more expensive and complex than teeth supported ones. But you can enjoy more stability following this procedure.
The costs of dental bridges can widely vary depending on the type of the bridge you opt for and your dentist’s fees. In general, teeth supported dental bridges are a lot cheaper than implant supported ones.
A standard dental bridge can cost anywhere between $500 to $1,200 roughly. Costs may increase or decrease depending on the size of the bridge and the materials you opt for. When you buy implant-supported dental bridges, you have to pay for implants as well. These costs can be hefty. For example, the All-on-4 implants with bridges procedure alone costs over $20,000.
Other costs can also apply. Costs can change depending on the lab fees for constructing the dental bridges. The dental clinic fees can vary depending on where you live.
In some cases, your health insurance or Medicaid plan might cover costs of dental bridges. If you are getting dental implants for cosmetic purposes, then you may have to pay for it out of your pocket.
Don’t choose cheap dental bridges if the costs are too high for you. You can consider lowering the overall costs of the dental care. Some patients travel to countries like Turkey where dental fees are cheaper overall to get bridges at an affordable cost.