Dental Bridges in Calgary
At Inglewood Family Dental, we are pleased to offer South East Calgary residents Dental Bridges as an option to replace missing teeth.
Do you have a missing tooth or a broken tooth that needs to be removed? If so, your dentist may recommend a dental bridge to replace that missing tooth. Your teeth are designed to work together and when one is lost, it can affect the placement and stability of the surrounding teeth. Dental bridges will restore the natural look of your teeth, provide stability, and give you confidence to smile again.
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are designed to bridge the gap between teeth created by a lost tooth. A traditional bridge uses two crowns placed on the neighboring teeth and a false tooth placed in the center, attached to the crowns.
The two supporting teeth are referred to as abutment teeth and the false tooth is called a pontic. Bridges are typically made from porcelain, gold, metal alloys, or a combination of these materials. Bridges stabilize the teeth in the mount and reduce the chance of teeth shifting after tooth loss.
When are Dental Bridges Used?
Dental bridges are used to replace a missing tooth due to infection, injury, or decay. A lost tooth, while it may not seem like much, can cause more damage to your surrounding teeth and your face in general. Replacing the lost tooth with a bridge can restore your smile, restore the ability to chew and speak correctly, help to restore facial shape, and prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of their natural position.
What are the Different Types of Bridges?
There are four main types of dental bridges. Traditional dental bridges use one fake tooth held in place by crowns on the supporting teeth, as discussed above. Cantilever bridges are very similar to the traditional bridge, but they use only one supporting tooth. This is often used to replace back molars where there is only one tooth next to the open gap.
Maryland bridges work a little differently and does not require the use of crowns on the adjoining teeth. In this case, the pontic is held in place by metal or porcelain framework that is bonded to the adjacent teeth. While this method does not require the filing down and crowns of adjacent teeth, it is not as stable as a traditional crown and may not stay in place.
The final bridge option is an implant-supported bridge. This is beneficial when you have more than one missing tooth creating a gap. Dental implants are surgically put in place and the bridge consists of a pontic in between the implanted teeth. These implants are extremely secure.
Dental Bridge Procedure
A dental bridge procedure takes multiple visits to the dental office. During the first visit, the dentist prepares the abutment teeth for the crowns. This involves removing the enamel and filing of the teeth, so the crown can be placed over the tooth. The dentist makes impressions of the surrounding teeth and a dental lab will create the bridge, crowns, and pontic. A temporary bridge is put in place until the crowns and pontic return from the lab. During the second appointment, the crowns, bridge and pontic are put into place and adjusted if necessary. Once the proper fit is established, the bridge is cemented into place.
Potential Risks Associated with Dental Bridges
As with any dental or medical procedure, the application of dental bridges can come with potential risks. Because a traditional crown requires the filing of healthy teeth and the use of crowns on those teeth, there is a risk that the healthy teeth can lose strength. If the bridge is not properly fitted, decay can occur underneath the crowns, resulting in additional damage or loss of the supporting teeth. If the supporting teeth are not strong enough to support the crown, it can result in a collapse of the crown. Bridges are not a permanent solution and will need to be replaced eventually.
Caring for a Dental Bridge
The best way to make sure that your dental bridge lasts as long as possible is to keep your gums and surrounding teeth healthy. Regular brushing and flossing reduce the risk of decay and potential problems. Regular visits to your dentist allow the bridge to be monitored and checked for potential complications before they happen. Because the crown and pontic may be made from porcelain, avoid biting or chewing on hard food or objects, such as hard candy, ice, or your pen while working. These can cause the porcelain to crack or chip.
If you are interested in learning more about dental bridges in Calgary and if they are right for you, give our office a call today to set up a free consultation.