Many with Missing Teeth Are Good Candidates for Dental Bridges
Created on January 4, 2011
There are three basic requirements to determine if a patient is a good candidate for a dental bridge: a missing tooth or teeth, strong adjacent teeth, and good dental hygiene practices.
The first requirement is obvious, since dental bridges are specifically designed to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Aside from the cosmetic value of closing a gap between teeth, dental bridges help maintain good oral health. If a tooth is missing, other teeth may move toward the gap, creating misalignment and potentially weakening the jaw. Missing teeth also increase the chance of gum disease.
Existing Teeth Must Be Strong Enough for Crowns
Strong adjacent teeth are needed to anchor the dental bridge, which is a solid appliance made of one or more false teeth, knows as pontics, with a crown on either side. The crowns are attached to the teeth adjacent to the gap. These teeth must be strong enough to have some material removed for fitting the crowns and still remain strong enough to support the bridge.
Finally, good dental hygiene practices are essential to the success of dental crowns. Since the bridge is a solid piece, the patient cannot floss between the crowns and the pontic, but proper flossing and brushing will reduce the chance of food particles finding their way to the space between the pontic and gum. Should a particle become lodged, vigorous brushing and rinsing will help dislodge it.
Modern Bridges Hard to Tell from Real Thing
A modern dental bridge is virtually indistinguishable from real teeth. The porcelain materials used to make the bridge can be accurately matched to the color of the existing teeth. And, since modern bridges are made to be attached by means of crowns, there are no wires to show, as with old-fashioned temporary bridges. Since the bridge is permanently attached, there is no chance of slippage.
A dental bridge is a great way to restore a smile. Once it’s in place, since it’s worry-free and essentially maintenance-free, the patient will probably forget it’s there and lose all self-conscientiousness about smiling.