What is a dental bridge?
A bridge is a form of fixed dental prosthesis which is used to replace a missing tooth, or multiple missing teeth in the upper or lower arches of the oral cavity. The bridge only replaces the crown portion of the missing tooth by using two sound teeth adjacent to the empty socket as anchors. Once cemented firmly, a dental bridge can restore the patient’s ability to chew properly without suffering from food impaction issues, and also address aesthetic concerns associated with missing teeth especially in the front of the mouth. Dental bridges can be made using metal, porcelain, and a fusion of the two materials known as PFM, or Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal.
What are the different indications for dental bridges?
Unlike partial dentures, dental bridges are fixed and cannot be easily removed. Tooth loss resulting from extractions, poor oral health or periodontal diseases, gross caries, failed root canal treatments, direct trauma, vertical fractures and congenitally missing teeth are some of the common indications for dental bridges. The materials used for the fabrication of these prostheses are selected based on the location of the missing tooth in the oral cavity and degree of masticatory forces that the artificial tooth will be required to withstand once cemented.
What happens during a dental bridge procedure? Will it hurt?
The tooth shade is first selected to ensure that the prosthesis is aesthetically pleasing. The teeth adjacent to the empty socket are first evaluated for strength and stability – and are then trimmed down using a mechanical hand-piece to accommodate ideal seating of the bridge. Anesthesia may be administered prior to this phase of the treatment to make sure that the patient does not experience any discomfort or pain. When the ideal preparation of the teeth has been achieved, an impression of the upper and lower arches is taken to record fine details which are critical for the fabrication of the bridge. Based on the details recorded by this impression, and the shade selected earlier, the technicians prepare the bridge in the laboratory.
When the patient is recalled next, a trial is conducted to check the fitting of the bridge. The prosthesis is then firmly cemented to the anchoring teeth using a strong dental adhesive material.
At South Austin Dental Associates, we use only the finest materials and research-based techniques to give our patients the very best in oral healthcare services. Book an appointment today to learn more about all the missing teeth replacement options in dentistry!