Q & A About Dental Bridges

If you have lost a tooth and would like to restore it, your dentist may recommend a dental bridge. Nevertheless, if you are unfamiliar with a bridge, you may not know what to expect. Here are a few questions and answers to help explain dental bridges:

What is a traditional dental bridge?

A traditional dental bridge is a restorative appliance that includes a dental crown on each end and one or more false teeth in the middle. The crowns anchor the bridge so that it can remain in place. The prosthetic teeth in the middle of the bridge are called pontics, and they can be made of a variety of materials, such as gold or porcelain. However, porcelain is most commonly used because the material resembles natural tooth enamel. 

What if I need a dental bridge but I don't have a tooth for one of the anchoring crowns?

If you are missing a tooth for one of your anchoring crowns, your dentist may suggest the placement of a dental implant. The implant screw will fuse with your jawbone over a period to form a stable support for your bridge. 

Although traditional bridges are bordered by a crown on each side, cantilever bridges may be used when there is an anchoring tooth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. Still, multiple crowns may be used for these specialized bridges. However, the layout or arrangement of the dental crowns may be different.

Why do I need a dental bridge?

In addition to being unsightly, missing teeth can make it difficult to chew or speak normally. The spaces left by lost teeth can also allow your remaining teeth to shift out of position. 

Since teeth support the structure of your face, missing teeth can cause your face to take on a sunken, hollow appearance.

How long do dental bridges last?

A dental bridge should typically last up to eight years. However, if you care for your bridge properly by cleaning the area around the bridge effectively, your dental bridge may last much longer. Dental bridges supported by dental implants can last around 16 years.

A dental bridge may be used to replace one or more missing teeth. If you are interested in a restorative bridge, contact your dentist (like those at Katz Family Dentistry PC) to schedule an appointment, He or she can assess the state of your mouth and determine if a dental bridge is right for you.