While dental bridges are common, they’re not a commonly understood part of dentistry. When it comes to dental work, keeping your own, natural teeth for as long as possible, is the main goal. However, accidents happen. Moreover, damage and decay cause many people to eventually lose a tooth. A dental bridge is one way to keep the loss of a tooth from affecting other parts of the mouth. Read through these basics of dental bridge and be prepared for the possibility of getting a dental bridge yourself.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a device that bridges the gap between two teeth. The teeth on either side of the gap are filed down and placed under crowns. Each crown is then fused to a third, “floating” crown that sits at the gum line over the gap caused by a missing tooth. Once it’s in place, the dental bridge looks natural and acts as though there were three teeth where you only have two.
A dental bridge can be made of different substances, but typically they’re made of metal or ceramics. For most bridges, a porcelain cover is fused to the outside. This allows your dental bridge to have a natural look. Placing a dental bridge almost anywhere in your mouth will be visible since they cover three teeth. However, it is possible to leave them uncovered if that’s what you prefer.
How long do dental bridges last?
How long bridges last depends on their placement and how well they’re taken care of. Even though bridges prevent tooth decay, they can still be broken. A buildup of food around and under your floating bridge can result in undue pressure being placed on the structure. This can cause the bridge to warp and eventually break. Additionally, biting on something very hard, such as a cherry pit, could cause your dental bridge to crack.
Even if you take care of it well, the average lifespan of a dental bridge is five to fifteen years. Working with your dentist could extend this lifespan for you, but it may not. Consistent care and prompt servicing of any problems will help keep your dental bridge in top shape.
How does a dental bridge work?
A dental bridge works by providing a spacer between the neighboring teeth, as well as a chewing surface for the missing tooth’s partner on your opposite jaw. When you lose a tooth, it affects the health of your whole mouth. Without a tooth to stimulate circulation in your jaw, it can weaken. The tooth opposite the missing tooth can also weaken, as it no longer has anything to chew against. A dental bridge provides you with a chewing surface, keeping both your jaw and your other teeth healthy. Additionally, the floating bridge prevents the teeth on either side of the gap from drifting towards each other. This keeps your smile looking great and your mouth healthy.
A dental bridge is a way to protect your mouth after losing a tooth. It keeps the surrounding teeth healthy. It can even restore the appearance of your smile, bringing back its natural beauty. Dental bridges last five to fifteen years, but dental care and personal care can extend that timeline.