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Dental Bridges

There are many reasons why one wants to replace a tooth. Whether it is improved self-confidence, better facial structure or increased ability to speak and chew, dental bridges and crowns are a great option.

A dental bridge is similar to dental crowns, but there is one major difference: a dental bridge is a series of teeth replaced in a single piece. This tooth bridge is created to cover a larger area of the mouth. It often replaces teeth that are missing due to accidental trauma or decay. Your dentist will first begin by numbing the affected area so that you remain comfortable the whole procedure. He or she will then file down the adjacent teeth so that the dental bridge can slide over the surrounding teeth and “cap” them. This creates a solid foundation for the tooth bridge to adhere to. It can be fixed, or removable like a denture.  If it’s fixed, it will be cemented in place and your new teeth will act like natural teeth. To get the best bite on contact, it’s advised that you get a fixed dental bridge. Always discuss these options with your dentist, as you and your needs may be different. At NW Dental, we know that there is no “one size fits all” approach to dentistry and we are glad to work with your personal preferences. Always remember to practice good oral hygiene in order to prevent any further tooth decay or disease.

Example of Dental Bridge versus a Crown

There are two common types of dental bridges: and all-ceramic bridge and a porcelain fused to metal bridge. All-ceramic bridges are made of a ceramic “pontic”, or strong dental material. It is very durable and can last for many years if done properly. They can be matched to the existing shade of your teeth and can transition seamlessly. As with most bridges and crowns, all-ceramic bridges can crack or fracture and also have a tendency to wear down surrounding teeth. Remember to be vigilant in cleaning the area around your bridge, as it can collect bacteria and decay over time. Porcelain fused to metal bridges are very similar. It can be more durable, but sometimes the underlying metal can be visible, resulting in a grey shade under the porcelain. Your dentist will apply a metal alloy to the prepared tooth, and porcelain is then used to cover the metal so it matches the color of your teeth.

Steps in creating a Dental Bridge

It is always important to address missing teeth in the mouth. It can put undue stress on the surrounding teeth and cause damage and decay to otherwise healthy teeth. Your speech and chewing ability may be affected, as well as your self-confidence. If left untreated, the jawbone can start to soften and the face may take on a “sunken” or hollow appearance. With a dental crown, dental bridge, or dental implants, you can preserve the rest of the teeth from further decay or disease. Fixed dental bridges or dental implants tend to be the most long lasting solution for missing teeth, but partial dentures or removable bridgework may be an option as well. These allow the patient to remove the dentures themselves and keep them clean. Talk to your dentist about which option may work best for you!