If you’re missing a tooth, there’s a good chance you’ve either already considered using a dental bridge or – at the very least – it’s a topic your family dentist may very well bring up with you at your next dental visit.
There are two main varieties of dental bridges used to attack the problem of a missing tooth. Both require multiple appointments at the dentist’s office (usually 2). A traditional dental bridge uses healthy teeth on either side of the gap to support the prosthetic tooth. In order to do so, a crown is applied to both adjacent teeth in order to preserve, protect, and reinforce them. This makes them capable of withstanding the increased pressure applied by the dental bridge.
A dental bridge is a tried and true tool used by cosmetic dentists everywhere to replace missing teeth in your mouth. The end result is a dental prosthetic that replaces any existing gaps without leaving any trace of their presence.
A cantilever bridge is used when there is only one healthy tooth adjacent to the gap. In many cases, dentists don’t generally recommend a cantilever bridge because it can increase damage to healthy teeth. Instead, a Maryland bonded bridge might be recommended instead. With a Maryland bonded bridge, porcelain is fused to metal and supported by a metal or porcelain framework. This is then attached to an existing healthy tooth with a wing on one side.
A Matter of Care
If you require a dental bridge of any kind, the most important part of maintaining good oral hygiene after the fact is a good oral hygiene routine. On top of diligent brushing and rinsing, a dental bridge requires extra care when it comes to flossing.
This is perhaps ones of the primary disadvantages of a dental bridge. Fortunately, it’s easily overcome by simply starting and keeping good habits. To clean your dental bridge properly, you might need more than just standard floss. In fact, you might need a floss-threader, which is designed to clean under the space beneath your dental prosthetic.
Be sure to continue to carefully brush your bridge and all of the surrounding teeth, as a dental bridge can sometimes accelerate plaque and bacteria buildup – which can lead to cavities in other teeth.