What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a device used to fill gaps and replace missing teeth by connecting an artificial tooth to its neighbour, regardless of whether the adjacent tooth is natural or artificial. It is common for the foundation teeth to be remade with dental crowns, made of either porcelain or composite resin. Additionally, a dental bridge can be used in conjunction with dental implants which creates a very strong tooth replacement.
Sometimes called a fixed denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth. This remedy looks great and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have existed. The restoration can be made from gold alloy, porcelain or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto the surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. Dental bridges are an affordable option to help restore your smile. Bridges can maintain the shape of your face as well as alleviating the stress in your bite by replacing missing teeth.
How Much does a Dental Bridge Cost?
In Toronto, Canada the cost of a tooth replacement by means of a 3-unit bridge is $3500 hst. Dental bridges are an affordable tooth replacement option. The cost of dental bridges varies, and with insurance, the costs are significantly reduced, but most patients pay between approximately $3500 to bridge (replace) a single tooth. Patients pay more for an all-porcelain bridge than for a metal or porcelain-fused bridge.
How Long will a Dental Bridge Last?
A dental bridges can last fifteen years with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. It’s common for a fixed bridges to last for over ten years. Dentists traditionally advise replacing dental bridges after eight years however recent breakthroughs and new materials have significantly extended their lifespan. Dentists at Archer Dental typically inform patients their new dental bridges will last a decade with proper care.
The most common reason why dental bridges fail is patients not being diligent about oral hygiene. Bacteria can work its way under the crowns on your abutment teeth, which are the teeth that support the bridge. If and when those teeth develop cavities they may become to weak to support the bridge. If patients do not practice good oral hygiene, they’ll have issues with their dental bridge in the long term. Impact and injury can also result in bridge failure.
Can a Dental Bridge be Removed and Reused?
In some cases, yes it’s possible for a dental bridge to be removed and reused. Your dentist will the judge; he or she may be able to remove your bridge but this is not typical; in most cases the bridge removal damages the device.
Dental bridges usually need replacing either because of a structural problem, or where the abutment teeth need treatment or have become unsuitable. The abutment teeth are those on either side of the bridge and are typically filed-down to allow a dental crown to sit over the top of them, holding the structure in place.
How Big can you make a Dental Bridge?
The most common dental bridge is done to fill a gap between two existing teeth. This is a three-tooth bridge. The same technique can be used to restore two or three teeth, or four, or even more teeth. The greater the number of missing teeth, the more crowns are needed to support the bridge and the more difficult the bridge. Dentists use implants to provide additional reinforcement for bridges that replace large numbers of teeth or for patients who do not have strong enough natural teeth to support the bridge. Dental implants may also be used as free-standing teeth to fill gaps that are not adjacent to the bridged area.
Dental bridges can now be fabricated from many different materials, some of which cost less than others, and some of which are incredibly strong. Dentists will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of all options based on circumstances.
Are Dental Bridges Worth It?
Dental bridges are an affordable solution to replace missing teeth. Patients may not realize how teeth work as a group, and how and why filling gaps has added benefits.
Dental Bridges Prevent Dental Drift
Each tooth helps the ones around it to remain in optimal condition. Therefore, when even a single tooth goes missing, the adjacent ones may drift out of their proper positions, leading to a misaligned bite. A misaligned bite, in turn, may contribute to TMJ disorder and other issues. If you lose a bottom tooth, the opposing top tooth might drift and eventually extend too far out of the gum line. Eventually, further tooth loss may occur. Dental bridges prevent all such issues.
Dental Bridges Restore Chewing Ability
A dental bridge is permanently bonded to supporting teeth and sturdy enough to withstand the stress of eating steak sandwiches. With a dental bridge, patients do not have to worry about tough foods or even rough foods irritating the tender gum tissue where missing teeth used to be. They can eat without spilling and drink without dribbling liquids on themselves.
Dental Bridges Improve Patient Confidence
Missing teeth affect the way the patient speaks, their appearance, and confidence. A well-made dental bridge is almost invisible and when constructed of porcelain most onlookers have no idea the patient has any artificial teeth.