Dental bridges are yet another option for restoring the appearance and function of your smile. If you are missing one or more teeth in the same area, Central Dental Specialists can help you determine if an anterior bridge is the best treatment plan for you.
What Is an Anterior Dental Bridge?
The word “anterior” simply refers to your front, most visible teeth. Dental bridges cover or “bridge” the gap that is created when you have one to three missing teeth in one area. They consist of prosthetic teeth, also known as pontics, that are held in place with the support of your adjacent, healthy teeth on either side of the gap. The pontics are usually made of ceramic but can also be metal or porcelain fused to metal. The way the bridge attaches to your healthy teeth, which we call your abutment teeth, depends on the type of bridge you are getting.
Types of Bridges
The most common type of dental bridge is called a fixed bridge. With this type, your pontic is supported by a crown on either side. The crowns are placed over your abutment teeth that surround the gap where you are missing your tooth or multiple teeth. The crowns attach to the pontic, securely holding it in place. For fixed bridges, your abutment teeth have to be shaved down in preparation, just like with regular crown placement.
The other type of dental bridge is called a resin-bonded or Maryland bridge. This type of bridge attaches to your abutment teeth using metal “wings” instead of crowns. The abutment teeth on either side of the gap do not need to be shaved down or prepared in any way for this type of bridge; the wings are simply bonded to the back of your healthy natural teeth.
Bridge Placement Procedure
The process for getting a dental bridge is very similar to the process for getting crowns. It requires just two visits to our office and does not involve invasive surgery. At your first visit, we will do a complete dental exam and take x-rays of your mouth. If you are getting a fixed bridge, we will also trim down your abutment teeth during this visit to prepare them for crown placement. Then we will take impressions, which we send to a lab in order to custom manufacture your bridge. Bridge fabrication can take up to two weeks, so we will give you a temporary bridge in the meantime. Once your new bridge is ready, you will return to our office so we can check its fit and comfort in your mouth. If there are no issues, we will cement the bridge in place and you will leave our office with your beautifully restored smile.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges have all the same benefits of other tooth restoration treatments. In addition to restoring the appearance of your smile which greatly impacts your self-confidence, a dental bridge also allows you to chew, eat, and speak normally. Bridges prevent serious issues that can occur when missing teeth are not replaced, such as the shifting of existing teeth, bite issues, jaw deterioration, tooth decay or further tooth loss, and gum disease.
Getting a dental bridge is an efficient process that takes only two office visits and does not require invasive surgery, unlike dental implants. And while some other restorative treatment options like dentures require frequent replacement and lots of maintenance, bridges are permanent, and you can care for them just like your natural teeth.
Dental bridges are an excellent restorative treatment for patients who are missing one or more teeth in the same area. To learn more and schedule a consultation appointment, call Central Dental Specialists at (781) 438-6618 today.