Recommended For Dental Bridge
Patients with missing teeth or gaps between the teeth are good candidates for a dental bridge procedure.
Not Recommended For Dental Bridge
A dental bridge procedure is not recommended for patients who have decayed teeth around their missing tooth. These teeth will be a foundation for the bridge, so they need to be perfectly healthy. Patients suffering from any gum disease will also need to get it treated first before the dental bridge can be applied. If the patient has more than 3 missing teeth, a fixed or removable partial denture would be more appropriate.
Number Of Trips Abroad
2 to 3 hours
3 to 14 days
Many patients with chipped teeth or an aching tooth might get a recommendation for a dental bridge. But what is a dental bridge? This is a type of fixed dental prosthesis applied in order to replace several missing teeth or just one missing tooth. It is also in the top five most common dental procedures in the world due to the fact that it's simple, relatively affordable and most of all, reliable.
Dental bridges come in the form of one of the following three:
● Traditional dental bridges – a crown is created on either side of the missing tooth, and a pontic is placed in between. This is the most common type of bridge. Preferred materials include ceramics or porcelain fused to metal.
● Cantilever dental bridges – a crown is created on only one side of the missing teeth. This type of bridge is not recommended for teeth subjected to high pressure, such as the molars.
● Maryland bonded dental bridges– these are created from plastic, porcelain fused to metal or porcelain, supported by a porcelain or metal framework. Porcelain or metal wings on each side of the tooth are then bonded to the patient’s existing teeth. The main advantage of this type of bridge is that the patient’s healthy teeth do not need to be capped with a crown.
It’s a good idea for patients to have dental x-rays before going overseas for treatment. Patients can also request information on the different types of materials which can be used for the bridge, before making a choice.
How It Is Performed
A traditional dental bridge procedure requires 2 or more appointments with the dentist. The patient may be required to visit the dentist a couple of days apart.
The dental bridge procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia. Once the anesthesia kicks in, the surgeon will begin to work on the two surrounding teeth, which will make up the base for the new dental bridge. These teeth are called abutment teeth. The abutment teeth will then be reduced so that the dental bridge can later be cemented in place. A temporary cap or crown is then placed over the abutment teeth until a dental technician creates the permanent dental bridge.
During the second appointment, the temporary caps are removed and the newly-made, permanent bridge is tested. Refinements are made at this point. The patient needs to be able to chew and speak properly with the bridge in place. Once the patient is satisfied with the result, the dental bridge is fixed in place by using dental cement.
Dental bridge risks and complications can include:
● Reducing the abutment teeth too much
● An increase in susceptibility to decay for the abutment teeth
● Replacing the bridge
Patients can experience numbness in the area for a few hours after the dental bridge procedure. An increase in sensitivity for the abutment teeth is also quite common, especially when consuming very hot or cold drinks. The increase in sensitivity passes in around a week after the dental bridge procedure.
The average dental bridge procedure has a success rate of around 94.3%
Before And After
Dental bridge pictures may seem appealing, but patients will be required to care for their new dental prosthesis carefully. The abutment teeth will also require extra attention, with flossing at least once a day and brushing twice a day being the norm. All these recommendations are done in order to keep the bridge strong and the surrounding teeth healthy. Patients undergoing this procedure will receive complete guidelines on how to care for their dental bridge.
- How long will my dental bridge last? Dental bridges last for 10 to 15 years if properly cared for.
- Will I have any difficulty eating with a bridge? Not – it will make eating a lot easier.
- Dental Bridge vs. Implant – What's the difference? A dental bridge procedure is more affordable, and it's also a quicker solution, but at the same time, it also affects neighboring teeth. Dental implants are a bit more expensive, but neighbouring teeth are not affected in any way.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are several types of dental bridges, according to the different techniques and materials used. Here are the most common types:
Traditional Dental Bridge
A traditional dental bridge is made up of one false tooth or several false teeth, fixed in place on either side by crowns. The crowns themselves can be cemented on the patient’s abutment teeth. This is the most common type of dental bridge, recommended for patients with missing teeth or a missing tooth, but with healthy teeth on both sides.
Cantilever Dental Bridge
The cantilever dental bridge is quite similar to a traditional dental bridge, the only difference being that the bridge itself is fixed in place by being cemented on only one of the patient's abutment teeth. Patients require only one healthy and the natural tooth next to the gap for the bridge to be applied.
Maryland Dental Bridges
Maryland dental bridges are similar to traditional bridges in the sense that they both require two healthy teeth on either side of the gap. The only difference between these types of bridges is the fact that while traditional bridges use dental crowns fixed on top of abutment teeth, the Maryland bridge will use a framework often made of porcelain or metal which is fixed to the abutment teeth.
Implant Supported Dental Bridges
Implant supported dental bridges do not use frameworks or crowns to fix the bridge in place. Instead, a dental implant is used to support the bridge and fix it to an abutment tooth. Implant supported dental bridges can also be placed between two or more implant-supported crowns. This is by far the most reliable technique but it also requires the most amount of time, with the procedure divided into two sessions: one to place the implants and another to place the bridge. Dental bridges on front teeth are usually placed using this technique due to its capacity to withstand a great deal of pressure. The cost of dental bridges applied using this technique is also somewhat higher due to the cost of the implant.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in July, 2019.