A dental bridge is a type of tooth replacement. Dental bridges are custom-made to fill up all of the space left from one or more missing teeth. In addition to helping your smile look more natural, a dental bridge also makes it easier to bite or chew food. Once you have a bridge installed, you'll need to pay extra attention to your oral hygiene. Bridges require brushing and flossing just like regular teeth, but you also have to remove the bridge and clean underneath it. The typical dental bridge needs to be replaced every five to 10 years.
Dental Bridge Types
Tooth bridges come in a few different styles. The traditional design is a small row of connected, tooth-shaped crowns. The first and last teeth on the row fit over implanted posts or your natural teeth to stabilize the bridge in place. Another common design is a cantilever bridge, where the bridge is anchored by only a single tooth on one side. If you don't want to get implants or shave down your existing teeth to fit a bridge over them, you can get a Maryland bridge. Also called a winged bridge, this bridge has small metal wings that clip over existing teeth to secure your bridge in place.
How Do You Know That You Need a Dental Bridge?
If you are missing any teeth, a dental bridge may be a helpful solution. A dental bridge is usually used when you are missing a moderate amount of teeth. Though it can replace a single tooth, dental bridges are more frequently used when you have two or more teeth missing. A dental bridge rarely replaces more than five or six teeth. Your dentist will usually help you determine whether or not a bridge is right for your situation.
What Kinds of Issues Are Solved With a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge helps to solve a variety of problems associated with missing teeth. First of all, it has aesthetic benefits. A dental bridge looks very natural, so it can easily fill in a gap in your smile with realistic-looking teeth. This helps to improve your confidence and make it easier to connect with others. Dental bridges also preserve the structure of the mouth. They keep existing teeth from migrating out of alignment due to a gap in your tooth line. The final benefit of dental bridges is that they solve bite issues after you lose a tooth. The bridge replaces missing teeth, so you can bite and chew your food with ease.
How Can You Avoid These Issues?
As you can see, dental bridges are very helpful for solving oral problems, but they can be a little pricey and stressful. In most cases, it is better to avoid needing a dental bridge in the first place. Tooth loss is often very preventable. By regularly brushing your teeth with natural toothpaste, you can strengthen tooth enamel and prevent plaque buildup. It is also helpful to floss daily and rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash. These steps can help to maintain your oral hygiene, so you can avoid losing teeth and needing a bridge.