Dental Bridges

Dental Bridge

Dental bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements that help maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw, and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth. With over 30 years of experience, contact our dentist, Dr. Brian McDowell to discuss if a dental bridge is the right treatment to restore your smile. 

A dental bridge can be used to:

  • Restore an attractive smile
  • Reduce the risk of gum disease
  • Restore the ability to bite and chew
  • Improve speech
  • Preventing remaining teeth from drifting out of position

Types Of Dental Bridges

There are three main types of bridges:

Traditional Bridges
Traditional or fixed dental bridges are the most common type of bridge used to replace one or more missing teeth. The dental procedure involves creating a crown for the implant or tooth on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic, or a false tooth, in the middle. Our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Brian McDowell will are either create your dental bridge out of porcelain fused to metal or from ceramics.

Resin-Bonded Bridges
Resin-bonded bridges are less expensive and primarily used for the front teeth. A resin-bonded bridge is best when the teeth are healthy and do not have any large fillings. During this procedure, Dr. McDowell fuses a false tooth with resin to metal bands which are then bonded to the adjacent teeth and hidden from view. As a result, resin-bonded bridges require only minimal preparation of the adjacent teeth.

Cantilever Bridges
Dr. Brian McDowell uses cantilever bridges in areas of the mouth under minimal stress, such as the back teeth. In addition, we recommend cantilever bridges when teeth are on only one side of the open space.

The Dental Bridge Procedure

The several steps to create a dental bridge:

First Step
Dr. Brian McDowell prepares the adjacent teeth. This preparation involves removing some of the enamel to allow room for your cosmetic dentist to place a crown over them.

Second Step
Dr. McDowell makes an impression of the teeth. These will be sent to a laboratory so a bridge, a false tooth or pontic, and crowns can be created to fit the unique configuration of the patient’s mouth. During the 2 to 3 weeks while the bridge is being manufactured, the patient will be given a temporary dental bridge to protect the exposed teeth and gums.

Third Step
During the next dental visit, Dr. McDowell will replace the temporary bridge with a new, permanent one. Then, your cosmetic doctor will ensure the bridge fits properly and cement it to the teeth.

Recovery After A Dental Bridge Placement

Replacing missing teeth should make eating more manageable. Still, until they get used to the bridge, patients are advised to eat soft food cut into small pieces. A few weeks after receiving a bridge, it is common to experience increased sensitivity to extreme temperatures. Patients will also notice a difference in their speech which will become more precise with the permanent bridge in place.

Results Of A Dental Bridge Placement

Good oral hygiene means a dental bridge will last 5 to 15 years, sometimes longer. Patients must remember to practice proper care of their teeth and gums to prevent the build-up of bacteria and plaque formation. Still, we recommend regular dental visits and cleanings.

What is a Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements that help to maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth. Dental bridges replace missing teeth with a short row of prosthetics that rely on the strength of surrounding natural teeth, called abutment teeth, to help stabilize the bite. Bridges also help keep adjacent teeth from moving into the open space the missing tooth leaves.

Why Is A Dental Bridge Necessary?

Improving the mouth’s function and appearance are important reasons to wear a dental bridge. A bridge provides support to the lower part of the face. The loss of a back tooth may result in sunken cheeks, causing the face to look considerably older.
With lost teeth, there is a risk of further dental deterioration. Problems with biting, chewing, and speaking may develop. In addition, the patient may experience headaches, muscle pain, and an unattractive appearance. A mouth with its full complement of teeth is essential for many daily functions. Furthermore, damaged or missing teeth may lead to other severe dental conditions such as gum disease, infection, and tooth loss.

What Are The Types Of Dental Bridges?

There are three types of dental bridges: conventional or fixed bridges, resin-bonded or Maryland-bonded bridges which are usually used for front teeth, and cantilever bridges, which are typically used in the back of the mouth.

How is a dental bridge attached?

Obtaining a bridge is typically accomplished in two or three dental appointments. First, Dr. Brian McDowell will take impressions of the teeth to ensure a perfect fit and bite. Next, he will send the records to a lab where skilled technicians construct the bridge. Once the dentist has ensured the bridge fits the patient’s mouth properly, Dr. Brian McDowell will cement it to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Next, a pontic, or false tooth, is affixed. Finally, crowns are cemented onto the nearby natural teeth to support the bridge.

What Materials Are Used For A Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges may be made of porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination. Porcelain is also sometimes fused to metal for both durabilities.

How Should A Dental Bridge Be Maintained?

Bridges should be cared for in the same way as natural teeth. The patient should brush and floss around the bridge and surrounding teeth thoroughly. As always, it is essential to practice proper oral hygiene to prevent the build-up of bacteria and plaque on the teeth and gums.

Schedule A Consultation For A Dental Bridge

Call our team today at (978) 252-2049 to schedule a dental bridge consultation at Brian C. McDowell, DDS. For over 30 years we have treated patients with dental bridges, dental implant restorations, fixed bridges, and other restorative dentistry treatments from Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, Lunenburg, and other surrounding areas.

Our Smiles Are Like Beautiful Works of Art

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