Do you know that there are emotional stages related to tooth loss? These are denial, anger, depression, and acceptance. Due to the social stigma of missing teeth, a person initially denies experiencing any problems. Following the denial, the person feels angry towards himself and others. The next stage is depression, which impacts the relationships of the individual. The final and most crucial step is acceptance. At this time, the patient accepts the loss of their teeth and decides to solve the problem.
Teeth loss affects a person not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. The traditional teeth restoration methods like dentures hold a stigma that stops a person from getting teeth replacement solutions. Due to this, people prefer hiding their tooth loss problem and living with it. It worsens the condition further and puts their oral health at risk!
However, advancements in dentistry and dental prosthetics provide convenient tooth replacement options. Modern dentures, dental implants, and dental bridges are so excellent that no one can differentiate between artificial and natural teeth. Therefore, the choice of tooth replacement options depends on your oral condition. And sometimes, dentures and dental implants are the only perfect solution to your problem.
What is a dental bridge?
As the name suggests, a dental bridge bridges the gap due to missing teeth. It is a permanent tooth restoration process that revives the function and looks of natural teeth.
A dental bridge is used in cases where one or more consecutive teeth are missing.
To understand how a dental bridge functions, let us consider the structure of a simple bridge. It consists of two posts on either side for support. And the deck that rests on the support and joins the two ends. Similarly, a dental bridge consists of two anchoring teeth on either side of the gap and false teeth in between. The foundation on either side of the dental bridge can be of natural teeth or implants. The anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, and the false teeth are known as pontics. These pontics can be gold, porcelain, alloys, or a blend of these materials. When more than one tooth is missing, the dental bridge consists of multiple artificial teeth. Abutments on both sides support these Pontics.
Who needs a dental bridge?
Around 70% of people aged 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth. Tooth decay, trauma, gum diseases, or failed root canal are some reasons behind it. While choosing tooth replacement options, if you already have existing dental crowns on the abutment teeth, the dentist may suggest you get a dental bridge. You can also get dental bridges if you can't get a dental implant for medical reasons.
A person needs a dental bridge to restore missing teeth or extraction. There are the following reasons which may lead to tooth loss:
1. Tooth Decay
Also known as cavities, tooth decay occurs if you don't follow proper oral hygiene. Eating snacks, consuming sugary drinks increases, and not cleaning your teeth well results in the build-up of bacteria. These bacteria produce acids that damage the enamel and create tiny openings in the teeth. If you don't treat cavities on time, they may get into deeper layers of teeth resulting in toothache and tooth loss.
2. Injury or trauma
Traumatic dental damages occur because of accidents or sports injuries. Such injuries often lead to minor chips in the teeth. But sometimes, severe injuries may lead to the complete loss of one or more teeth. Depending on their condition, a person suffering from teeth loss due to injury may consider a dental bridge as a tooth replacement option.
3. Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an ailment related to the gums. Symptoms of periodontal disease include swollen gums, painful chewing, bad breath, bleeding gums, etc. It is an inflammatory condition that infects the gums. Periodontal disease damages the soft and hard tissue that supports the teeth structure. As a result, it loosens the teeth and results in tooth loss.
Prescriptions may result in oral problems such as bleeding gums, inflammation, and ulcers. In addition, there are some medications, such as antidepressants, that reduce the production of saliva in the mouth. Due to less saliva, the acids don't get neutralized. As a result, it results in the damage of enamel, cavities, and tooth loss.
With aging, the tooth enamel tends to damage and makes the teeth prone to decay. With aging, you may also experience decreased production of saliva. Medications and drugs further amplify the problem. The effects of age on oral health result in tooth decay and, eventually, teeth loss.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are four kinds of dental bridges. Depending on your oral condition and requirement, the dentist may suggest you any of the following dental bridges:
Traditional Dental Bridges
Traditional dental bridges are the most popular type. Such a type of bridge contains one fake tooth or pontics. A dental crown on both sides supports it. While installing a traditional dental bridge, the dentists will shape two of your teeth next to the gap on each side. Shaping and filing the natural teeth ensures that the dental crown on both sides fits well. The traditional bridges are strong, durable, and last for a long time with proper dental care. These are generally used to revive teeth at the backside, such as molars and premolars.
Cantilever bridges are the same as traditional bridges as they both are made of porcelain fused with metal. The difference is that in the case of the Cantilever bridge, a patient needs only one healthy tooth instead of two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. A cantilever bridge prevents healthy teeth from filing and trimming. Such types of bridges restore the front teeth as they aren't strong enough to support the teeth on the back.
Also known as adhesive bridges, Maryland dental bridges are less invasive than traditional bridges. It consists of a fake tooth or a pontic supported by a metal or porcelain structure. The Maryland bridges are also made up of porcelain and have wing-shaped extensions. These extensions connect with the adjacent teeth and keep the pontic stable. This type of dental bridge is used to restore the front teeth and doesn't require tooth removal of the adjacent teeth.
Implant-supported bridges don't use a dental crown or metal framework for supporting the tooth. Instead, they are held in place entirely by dental implants. In cases where patients have at least three teeth missing in a row, implant-supported bridges are ideal. In addition, such a bridge is used to restore the teeth on the back, such as molars and premolars.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges have several positive outcomes. Hence they are frequently used by dentists from all over the world for tooth restoration purposes. Dental bridges are a functional solution for missing teeth. It not only offers functional correction but also restores aesthetics.
1. It enables proper eating.Tooth loss creates a gap in the jaw and doesn't let you eat properly. A dental bridge fills the gap and restores the function of missing teeth. With a dental bridge, you can chew and eat your food well.
2. It aids speaking. Missing teeth disturb the tongue's placement while speaking, resulting in hindrance. A dental bridge helps in articulation and lets you speak clearly.
3. It enhances aesthetics. A dental bridge compensates for the missing teeth in functions and looks. If you get a bridge that matches the color of your natural teeth, no one can distinguish between your natural teeth and the bridge. It restores your smile and lets you laugh confidently.
4. It improves self-esteem. Teeth loss makes several people uncomfortable about their appearance. Installing dental bridges compensates for your missing teeth and enhances your self-esteem. It lets you smile freely and confidently without bothering about your looks.
5. It reinforces the jaw structure. Missing teeth results in loss of bone in the jaw. A dental bridge is beneficial for the jaw structure in the long term. It reduces the risk of bone loss and maintains your facial structure.
6. It restores the bite force. When there is a gap in the jaw, the adjacent teeth shift towards the gap to fill it. Due to this shifting of the position of teeth, you may experience problems biting FoodFood. Getting dental bridges revives the functions of missing teeth and restores biting.
7. It is easy to maintain. Dental bridges are a preferred teeth restoration option because of their easy maintenance and feel in the mouth. Initially, you may need some time to get used to the dental bridge. But after some time, it becomes a part of the mouth and is hardly noticeable. Also, dental bridges don't require any extra care. You can clean them as you brush your teeth.
The Process Of Getting Dental Bridges
The procedure for getting dental bridges is a step-by-step process. It involves the following steps:
The first step to getting a dental bridge is to understand the requirement. Next, your dentist will assess your oral condition and determine if you need teeth restoration options. He will also evaluate if dental implants are the best solution for your condition. Other teeth replacement options, such as dentures and dental implants, may be more appropriate. Next, the dentist will examine your dental condition and take X-rays of the jaw to understand your situation. Then, as per the requirement, your dentist will discuss possible options. At this stage, you will choose the design and type of your dental bridge.
Teeth preparing and placing of the temporary bridge
Dental bridges rely on the healthy natural teeth known as abutment teeth on the adjacent sides. It is necessary to file and shape the abutment teeth to prepare them for placement on the bridge. In this process, the doctor may provide you with a local anesthetic. It doesn't let you feel uncomfortable.
After filing, the dentist will take impressions of the shape of your teeth. These impressions are sent to the laboratory, where the technicians will construct your bridge. The dentist also takes a sample color of your teeth to create prosthetics that match your natural teeth. Sometimes, the teeth adjacent to the gaps aren't strong enough to support the bridge. In such situations, a dental implant is necessary to anchor the connection.
While the permanent bridge is in production, the dentist may place a temporary crown on the front teeth. It protects the filed and shaped teeth from damage and can be removed when the permanent dental bridge is placed in the mouth.
Permanent dental bridge placement
At this stage, the permanent dental bridge has been made and is ready to be installed. Again, the doctor may give you local anesthesia to ensure comfort. Next, the temporary dental bridge is removed, followed by the cleaning of underlying shaped teeth.
The dentist places the permanent dental bridge and uses dental cement to fix the bridge to the abutment teeth. At this stage, you and your dentist will determine if the bridge fits your perfectly. You might also need some adjustments to the bridge to stay in place. Initially, the dental bridge may feel a little unfamiliar, but with time you will get used to it.
Follow up appointments
Follow-up and aftercare are very crucial in the process of getting a dental bridge. At this stage, the dentist will explain about taking care of your bridge. You will know about the maintenance, cleaning, and do's and don'ts related to the bridge. The dentist will also inform you on when to seek dental consultation. As per your oral condition, you may have to visit the dental clinic 2-3 times yearly for regular checkups and monitoring of your dental bridge.
How To Take Care Of My Dental Bridge?
Oral hygiene is a crucial factor that plays a significant role in the success of dental bridges. A dental bridge can last up to ten years and longer with proper care and prescribed maintenance. You must take care of your new bridge and keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong. Damage to the adjacent teeth may result in complexities in your dental bridge. While caring for your new teeth, consider the following tips:
Keep your mouth clean.
It would be best if you brushed your teeth twice a day. Brush for two minutes and use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride-based toothpaste as it helps strengthen the enamel of the teeth. It would help if you also flossed your teeth once a day to remove the stuck particles between them. Include an antiseptic mouthwash in your dental care routine.
Eat high-fiber food items.
Go for low-sugar and high-fiber fruits and vegetables. Include food items such as apples, berries, beans, broccoli, etc. FoodFood rich in fiber slows down the digestion of sugar and lets your body process them more effectively. Chewing fiber-rich FoodFood increases saliva production and neutralizes the acid in your mouth. In addition, the fiber in such food items may gradually buff the tooth surface while removing plaque build-up.Along with eating fiber-rich foods, you should avoid consuming sticky and firm items such as caramel, popcorn, candy, etc. Reduce the intake of sugary drinks and acidic FoodFood as it results in cavities. Avoid smoking and consuming tobacco products as it affects the gum tissue, resulting in tooth loss, toothache, and staining.
Your dental bridge will make you feel more confident about your smile and oral health. However, to avoid any complications in the future, you must care for your dental bridge so that it goes a long way with you.
Facts And Myths About Dental Bridge
You may need more clarification about dental bridges to explore dental bridges as a possible solution for your teeth loss. Here are some facts and myths about dental bridges that will clarify your uncertainties.
Myth 1: After getting a dental bridge, it hurts while eating.
Fact: When you get your dental bridge, initially, you might feel a little uncomfortable. But it isn't painful. Since your teeth aren't used to the bridge at first, you need time to adapt to the arrangement. Once the bridges adjust with the natural teeth, you will feel normal.
And the dental bridge will restore the functions of your missing natural teeth.
Myth 2: Dental Bridges don't last for long.
Fact: It will only last long if you take appropriate care of everything. Similarly, not ensuring proper dental care may shorten the functioning span of your dental bridge. Hence, you should establish a dental hygiene routine and care for your oral health. Brush and floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist every 3-6 months after getting dental bridges. With proper care and maintenance, your dental bridge can last up to 15 years or longer.
Myth 3: Dental Bridges are very expensive.
>Fact: The cost of dental bridges depends on your oral conditions and the type of bridge you are getting. If you choose a dental bridge made out of metal or porcelain, it may cost more. On the other hand, choosing composite resin will make it cost less. People customize their dental bridges per their budgets and with the material of their choice. Some examples are gold metal crowns, acrylic crowns, steel teeth caps, etc.
Myth 4: Dental Bridges are easily visible and look different than natural teeth.
Fact: The traditional dental bridges used metal pieces that fastened to the adjacent teeth for support. Such old-fashioned bridges were easily visible. However, modern dental bridges are held by abutments or existing natural teeth. It makes artificial teeth almost impossible to distinguish from natural teeth. Hence dental bridges make your smile look natural.
Myth 5: Dental bridges break easily.
Fact: If the teeth surrounding the dental bridge are healthy and the bridge fits adequately, the device doesn't break easily. They can last for as long as 15 years if you care for them. The bridges are made out of durable materials such as resin. They can be as strong as your natural teeth.
Myth 6: It takes a long time for dental bridges to install.
Fact: The dental bridge installation may take 2-3 appointments with the dentist. The process requires the preparation of the anchor teeth or abutments. The casting of the dental bridge follows it. In a few visits, the dentist will ensure that your bridge fits perfectly, and you will be good to go.
Myth 7: There is only one type of dental bridge out there.
There is a standard structure of a dental bridge. But then, dentists understand that different patients may have individual requirements. Therefore, if your condition requires a particular type of bridge, such as the Cantilever bridge, your dentist will offer it irrespective of its popularity and cost.
Dental Bridges Specialist NJ
Your dentist is your associate in ensuring the well-being of your oral health. Routine dental visits and treatment keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and prevent diseases. The thought of going to a dentist may make you anxious. However, thinking of going to the dentist may make you feel uneasy. Hence, choosing the right dentist for yourself can be a significant task. Before going for your dental visit, consider the dentist's experience. And if you have dental anxiety, talk about it. You should feel comfortable discussing your dental conditions with the dentist. You can also get referrals from your friends and family members. Your overall experience with getting dental bridges must be comfortable and hassle-free.
At Jackson Dental, we make sure that you have excellent oral health. We have expertise in dental bridges, implants, and cosmetic dentistry. We ensure you get a healthy and beautiful smile, and dental conditions like tooth loss don't come between you and your happiness. Getting teeth restoration solutions can be daunting. But we at Jackson Dental help you walk through the process without difficulties. When you consult with us, we identify your requirements and suggest the best possible solution for your condition. Do you need clarification on whether you need dental bridges or implants? Or what type of bridge do you need? We have got your back!
You can't ignore how vital teeth are in our life. Not only for chores like chewing and eating FoodFood but also for our smile and emotional and mental well-being. It is only sometimes essential to get dental implants for teeth restoration. Installation of dental bridges is an excellent option for those who have one or more consecutive teeth missing. It restores the functions of teeth and enhances the aesthetics due to natural looks. Dental bridges are one of the most effective solutions to treat tooth loss. If you're considering getting a dental bridge, take a step ahead and consult with your dentist today!