What do dental bridges do?
They replace missing teeth. Dental bridges consist of one or more porcelain teeth, with an arrangement to hold them in place. They can be anchored three different ways, which is what differentiates the types of bridges.
What are the three types of dental bridges?
- A traditional bridge – anchored to the two neighboring teeth by means of crowns on those teeth, with attachments from the crowns to the artificial tooth or teeth.
- A Cantilever bridge – done the same way, but used when there is no neighboring tooth on one side. The bridge is attached to crowns on two teeth on the same side, like a cantilevered balcony.
- A resin bonded bridge – anchored by metal framework that has a piece on each side bonded to the two neighboring teeth.
There is also a fourth way to anchor a bridge, and that is with a dental implant. This way is the best, since it requires no metal framework, and no crowns on otherwise healthy teeth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root which Dr. Chung places in the jawbone to hold a porcelain tooth.
If my missing tooth is at the back, couldn’t I just leave the gap there?
You could, but that’s not a good idea over the long haul. The surrounding teeth will gradually move to fill that gap, which could put them into uncomfortable, misaligned positions. Misaligned teeth create an incorrect bite. Your bite is the way your upper and lower teeth meet when you close your mouth. A misaligned bite can cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), a condition with many painful symptoms.
Do dental bridges get loose or fall out?
No, they are strongly anchored by one of the three methods described above. Once Dr. Chung places a bridge for you, it will stay there and give you strong biting and chewing ability.
On the other hand, dentures are another option to replace missing teeth, but they are known for not fitting well or becoming loose over time. Before cosmetic dentistry developed and expanded into its present impressive state, dentures were more commonly done. Now there are more sturdy choices for tooth replacement. A dental implant will hold an individual porcelain tooth permanently, and can also anchor a bridge strongly.
How should I care for my dental bridge?
By brushing and flossing just as you would for your natural teeth. The goal is to keep bacteria under control. Porcelain teeth will not decay, but the surfaces where your bridge is supported by neighboring teeth need to be kept clean to prevent bacteria from getting underneath the support framework and damaging the enamel there.
For answers to more dental bridges questions, please contact Softouch Dental Care by phone at 703-319-6990. If you have any missing teeth, it is not a good idea to delay treatment for filling the gaps. Our Oakton dentist serves patients in Vienna, McLean, Great Falls, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Herndon, Fairfax, Falls Church, Chantilly, Centreville, Washington D.C. and the Northern Virginia area.