Medically reviewed by Dr. James Ko

Why Do I Need a Dental Bridge?

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When you need to find the right replacement for a couple of missing teeth, don’t be surprised if your dentist recommends one of the four kinds of dental bridges. Along with dentures and dental implants, this solution is worth considering and may even be the most practical choice for you. Why would the dentist bring up the subject of dental bridges? Here are some reasons why the professional thinks you should know about this option.

You Need to Replace One or Two Teeth

Dental bridges are an excellent way to span the gap left by one or two teeth. They effectively fill in the empty space and restore the appearance of the teeth. They work especially well when you are looking for a replacement to molars or other teeth closer to the back, but some of them also work well for teeth closer to the front.

Is a dental bridge removable? Some designs are made so that you can remove them for cleaning purposes. Others are classified as fixed bridges. That means they are affixed to the healthy teeth on each side of the gap. When you go with a fixed bridge, you will brush them just like you would brush the remainder of your natural teeth.

How is a bridge attached to teeth? There may or may not be the need to modify the shape of the teeth on each side of the gap. Once that’s done, the means of attaching the bridge will vary, based on whether you are going with a removable bridge or a fixed bridge. With the former, there are tiny loops that slide over the teeth on each side of the gap. They help to hold the bridge in place while still making it easy to remove it when necessary.

If you choose a fixed bridge. the device is usually bonded to the teeth on each side. It’s not unusual for crowns to be added that help to provide additional stability. The process is done with care, since the goal is to ensure the bridge blends in with the surrounding teeth. That means paying close attention to the colour of the bridge as well as the proportions.

Read more: Why Non-Surgical Gum Therapy Is The Best Bet For Those With Odontophobia

You Aren’t Ready for Implants

Is a bridge better than an implant? As great as implants happen to be, they aren’t always the best choice for the patient. With a gap of only a couple of teeth, you may not see the need for implants right now. This is especially true if you believe that more of your natural teeth will have to go in another five to ten years. At that point, you will be ready to look into the different options for implants.

In the meantime, one of the different types of dental bridges will work just fine. The fitting time for a bridge is shorter, and the process of installing it is simpler. Any work that is needed can usually be done with a local anesthetic rather than putting you to sleep.

You Want a Solution That Will Last

It’s true that dental bridges in Markham are not likely to last as long as implants, but they often exceed the life of dentures. The results will vary, depending on how well you take care of the bridge and the anchor teeth found on each side of the gap. Some people find that bridges last for less than a decade. Others get up to three decades from their first bridges. Your dentist can provide a reasonable projection based on your general dental health and the type of bridge that you choose.

Read more: 10 reasons why you should consider porcelain veneers

You Want Something That’s Simple to Maintain

How do you take care of a dental bridge? As it turns out, caring for a bridge is not that difficult. The process will vary slightly depending on what sort of bridge you choose, but all of them are relatively easy to maintain.

With removable dental bridges, it’s fine to take them out to soak. This is much like the process you would use for a set of dentures. There are products designed to gently remove residue from the bridge while you sleep. The next morning, you can brush the remaining teeth, rinse the bridge, and slide it back into position.

When you go with a permanent bridge, you will brush it when you brush your other teeth. Feel free to use floss for the area surrounding the bridge. Consider using some type of water flossing device to get into the tiny spaces around the anchor teeth. You can also use mouthwash without any worries of damaging the bridge.

The Solution Must Be Painless

Is it painful to get a bridge? Many people will tell you know. Even if you are opting for a permanent bridge that requires some work to the anchor teeth, the discomfort is low at best. The dentist will use some type of local anesthetic to deaden the teeth and gums in the area before proceeding. Once it wears off, you might need something for mild discomfort for a day or two. An over the counter pain medication will often work fine.

Since the dental bridges procedure will vary based on the type of implant that you choose, it pays to talk with the dentist about what to expect. You want to know how any pain during the procedure will be managed, and what you can do to manage any lingering discomfort in the hours and days after the fitting is complete.

Read more: 4 practical reasons try professional teeth whitening

My Insurance Must Cover the Bulk of the Cost

If you have a stand-alone dental plan or a dental rider that’s associated with a group health insurance policy, there’s a good chance that at least some of the cost is covered. The best way to know what the plan will pay is to read through the coverage provisions.

You could find that every aspect of the tooth bridge procedure is covered, up to and including the cost for the bridge. Other plans may only cover certain types of bridges, unless you’ve sustained an injury that led to permanent loss of one or more teeth. There are even some that will pay for the bridge but will not cover the cost of the crowns placed on the anchor teeth.

Remember that if you do need to cover some of the cost, there are medical loans designed to allow you to have the work done now and pay over time. Assuming the payments will fit into your budget with relative ease, the debt could be paid off in less than a year.

You Want to Speak Clearly Again

Most people don’t understand what a difference teeth make to speaking clearly. It’s only after a few of them are gone that you notice how hard it is to pronounce some words that used to come so easily. The nice thing about dental bridges is that they restore the ability to enunciate without any extra effort.

That’s because the bridge fills in the space left by those missing teeth. Thanks to the presence of the bridge, the tongue movements that play a role in speaking properly are just like they were before you lost the teeth. Even if no one else really notices that some of your words are not as clear as they used to be, you will be able to tell the difference during that very first discussion after the bridge is in place.

A Solution That Looks Natural is a Must

One of the factors you that you want to consider closely is how to replace those missing teeth and ensure the solution looks natural. While bridges aren’t the only solution, rest assured that they are crafted with care. The result is that it will be hard for anyone to tell that you have a bridge and not real teeth in that space.

Even when you opt for a permanent bridge that’s anchored to the teeth on each side, a lot of detail work goes into making sure the bonding is perfect and the crowns look natural. That involves making sure the tint of the materials is a match for the surrounding teeth. It also means making sure the bridge itself looks like two natural teeth that happen to be side by side.

Your dentist probably has some samples to show you. Take a good look at them and see what you think. While there may be some variance in quality from one manufacturer to another, your dentist likely has high standards for bridges. The bridge you receive will match and possibly exceed the quality and the appearance of the sample.

Feel free to talk with Markham Smile Centre dentists about all of the pros and cons associated with each type of dental bridge. Go into the specifics of certain types of dental bridge problems and how they can be resolved. You can also get a dental bridge cost estimate for any of the designs that the dentist is recommending and see what you think. Once the bridge is in place, it won’t take long for it to feel as if you’ve had it for a long time.

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.

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