The Advantages of Dental Bridges
Bridges can be one of the most effective means of replacing missing teeth, and we have the knowledge and experience to help you with these procedures. Whether you need to restore your smile, or would simply like to redistribute the force of your bite properly, our dental bridges can help you achieve these goals.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are designed to replace missing teeth and at the same time strengthen the structural integrity of your other supporting teeth. When you have one or several missing teeth, dental bridges act to literally “bridge” the gap, and anchor your other teeth to offer increased stability.
“Bridging” a missing tooth gap involves the use of pontics, or false teeth. These are similar to dental implants in that they are permanently fixed inside your mouth and do not come out, and can vary in the material used or their appearance, depending on the type of dental bridge you decide to get.
At our clinic we offer three types of dental bridges. These are:
- Traditional bridges,
- Maryland bonded bridges
- Cantilever bridges.
To find out which one will be more appropriate for your specific needs, just schedule an appointment, and we will be happy to provide you with the information you require for your specific needs.
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
In most cases, even a temporary dental bridge can go a long way toward improving your smile and getting you the benefits you’re expecting. A dental bridge for your missing teeth provides you with appearance related benefits as well as health benefits:
- Our professional dental bridge procedures will help you replace a missing tooth/teeth visible in your smile and therefore will restore your smile, support the soft tissues and lips and help maintain the shape of your face and jaw.
- By placing a dental bridge, we can restore the function of your teeth like chewing and speaking. You can improve your ability to chew more easily, enjoying foods that you may have had trouble with in the past.
- Your bite force will be more evenly distributed, allowing you to chew evenly and perhaps preventing Temporo-Madibular Disorders (TMD) from occurring due to favouring one sided chewing that can cause joint problems.
- Perhaps the greatest benefit of a dental bridge is that it prevents surrounding teeth from drifting into the gap and out of their normal position.
- If this happens, a straight smile can easily start looking uneven and unattractive.
- At the same time, drifting of the teeth causes an unstable bite, and this can lead to bite problems. When the upper and lower teeth don’t meet properly anymore, due to the tooth drifting movement, it strains and damages the jaw joint (TMJ).
- Another problem that arises from tooth drifting is the increase in gum disease and tooth decay. Once teeth drift out of alignment, it can make it harder to clean with your toothbrush or floss. When plaque and bacteria are left behind, tooth decay and gum or periodontal disease can develop, often causing further tooth loss.
Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants
There are good reasons for both. Depending on a number of factors, like if your tooth loss is recent or happened years ago, it will determine the amount of bone loss or bone still present, and the amount of drifting that has occurred.
In the past, a bridge was your only choice for a fixed tooth replacement. For a dental bridge, the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap need to be prepared for crowning by removing enough tooth structure (usually 1 to 1.5 mm) to make room for the porcelain or the material we choose to make the bridge out of. If the teeth adjacent to the gap are already heavily filled and broken down, and these teeth would benefit from CROWNS, then perhaps a dental bridge would be beneficial, as it will serve to replace the missing tooth AND strengthen the adjacent teeth…it’s like the proverbial “killing two birds with one shot”. A Traditional three unit dental bridge is literally made out of two crowns placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap, and the one pontic which is the false tooth attached to the two crowns on either side of the pontic.
With Dental Implants however, we replace the missing tooth without having to touch the teeth on either side of the gap. If the teeth on either side are healthy and have not moved, then perhaps a dental implant would be the treatment of choice. If the tooth or teeth have been lost for a long time, the gum and bone will have receded and procedures beyond the implant may be required before placement of the dental implant.
Frequently Asked Questions: Dental Bridges
Q: Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants: which one is best when it comes to aesthetics?
A: There isn’t always a simple answer. Often, this depends if there has been drifting and bone loss associated with the tooth loss. If the tooth has been recently extracted and bone has been preserved, a dental implant should give ideal aesthetics, however a dental bridge would give consistent beautiful aesthetics and is less sensitive in technique.
A: Q: What major changes will I need to adopt in my normal oral health routine?
A: Since the bridge is fixed inside the mouth, you may have to adjust some of your oral health routines – particularly in the case of flossing. An added step that is required would be to thread the floss under the pontic or the false tooth, using products such as a Floss Threaders or Superfloss.
Q: Are dental bridges built to last? What happens if they are damaged?
A: Bridges can involve false teeth made out of gold, composite material, various alloys and /or porcelain. Most of the time, the bridge structure and the false teeth can last for decades, however, should the materials fail, a dental bridge repair may be possible, but most of the time the whole bridge may need to be replaced with a new dental bridge.
The bite will also determine the longevity of a dental bridge and often we would recommend a night guard for those that have a tendency to grind or clench their teeth to protect the materials from being damaged by the abnormal forces of bruxism. Since the teeth underneath are susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay, regular oral hygiene and active maintenance visits will increase the lifespan of the dental bridges.
Contact Our Office to Schedule a Free Smile Assessment
If you are ready to take the next step, call 08 6244 0089 and friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Furlan. You can also use our online appointment form below or visit the contact us page of our website.
* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risk. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.