3 questions and answers about getting a dental bridge

December 4, 2013

If your dentist has said you need a dental bridge, you likely have concerns. Here are some common questions, answered.

3 questions and answers about getting a dental bridge

1. How is a dental bridge made?

When the teeth on either side of an empty space are healthy, the dentist will reduce them in size to prepare them for the dental bridge.

  • He or she will then make a dental impression of your teeth so a custom-fitted dental bridge can be made.
  • To close the empty space while the dental bridge is being made, the dentist will attach a temporary bridge, which will help protect the exposed teeth and the gums and will help you keep your beautiful smile while you wait.
  • Once the dental bridge is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary bridge and attach the permanent one to your natural teeth.
  • This step consists in cementing the bridge to the two healthy teeth located on either side of the empty space.
  • Once it has been permanently attached, the dental bridge cannot be removed.

2. Is there only one type of dental bridge?

There are several variants of the dental bridge. The dentist will be able to suggest the solution that is best adapted your situation.

  • Traditional dental bridge. This type of dental bridge is used when the natural teeth are present on either side of the empty space.
  • Dental bridge on an implant. Used in the absence of healthy teeth or when there aren’t enough healthy teeth to hold a bridge. This type is custom made and attached to dental implants that have been surgically placed in the jaw.
  • Resin-bonded dental bridge (butterfly bridge). This type of bridge is used when the empty space is located at the front of the mouth, so that the artificial teeth can be attached together using metal wings located behind the natural teeth.
  • Cantilever dental bridge (suspended bridge). This bridge is used when the healthy teeth are located on one side only of the empty space. The artificial tooth is attached to one tooth or several adjacent natural teeth.

3. How do I care for a dental bridge?

A dental bridge that is very well cared for should last the patient about ten years.

  • Just as you would care for your natural teeth, a dental bridge must be brushed and flossed every day.
  • Your dentist will show you how to use a dental floss threader to get the most out of your flossing.

If you've been told you need a dental bridge, you're going to have questions. Don't hesitate to discuss all of your options with a trusted dentist to ensure you're making the best choice possible.

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