Dental Bridge North York, ON
A “bridge” is also known as a fixed partial denture. A traditional bridge is a one-piece permanent prosthesis that replaces one or more missing teeth by anchoring onto natural teeth (called abutments) for support. The part of the bridge that replaces a missing tooth is called a pontic. A bridge is cemented permanently into place and cannot be removed at home.
Types of Bridges
Bridges can be made of porcelain fused to metal, or zirconia or other dental ceramics. The decision as to the choice of material is made based on the length of the bridge, location in the mouth, opposing teeth or prosthetics, and prescience of any grinding or clenching habits.
Regardless of the type of bridge made, all types are aesthetic, unless there is a specific reason that a gold allow should be used.
A Maryland bridge has small metal wings that attach to the tongue side of the abutment teeth, rather than crowns that attach to the abutment teeth. This type of bridge is only used for very short span bridges at the front of the mouth. They are done when implants or standard fixed bridgework is not recommended.
Bridge Or Implant: Which Is Right For You?
There are significant differences between a bridge and an implant.
The part of a bridge that attaches to the natural teeth abutments are basically “crowns” or caps. The abutment teeth are shaved down the same way they would be as for preparing for a crown.
An implant is a titanium “bolt” that is surgically placed into the bone to replace the root of a missing tooth. A crown is then attached to the implant to replace a missing tooth. It does not involve the neighboUr teeth at all (no abutment teeth are needed). When more than one natural tooth is missing in a row, an implant bridge can be attached to two or more implants.
Why Choose A Bridge?
A standard bridge supported by natural teeth is generally recommended when the neighbouring teeth on either side of the space need to be crowned anyways. For example, if an adjacent tooth has had root canal treatment and needs a crown, it sometimes makes sense to do a bridge instead of a crown supported by an implant.
Some people do not want to go through the expense and surgery of an implant and will choose to do a bridge instead. Bridges on natural teeth are typically less expensive than implant treatment. Additionally, some people may not be candidates for implant surgery due to medical conditions.
Why Choose An Implant?
Implant-supported bridges do not attach to natural teeth, thus the natural teeth are not shaved down. Also, natural tooth abutments used for standard bridges often develop recurrent decay at the margin between the bridge and natural tooth structure. Implant-supported bridges cannot develop decay.
Bridge Treatment At Dr. Sara Shiewitz Dentistry
The treatment procedure for a bridge at our North York dental office is similar to that of a crown, except that two or more abutment teeth need to be shaved down, instead of one. Local anesthesia may be needed unless the abutment tooth has undergone root canal therapy.
An impression of the area and the opposing teeth is taken, as well as a record of how the teeth bite together. A temporary bridge is made and is cemented into place with temporary cement, to be worn until the permanent bridge is ready. When the permanent prosthesis is ready, the temporary bridge is removed, the abutment teeth cleaned, and the bridge is tried in.
Several factors are assessed, which include fit at the margins, contact with neighbour teeth, bite, colour, and shape. Once Dr. Shiewitz’s assessment meets her high expectations, the bridge is cemented permanently into place.
Caring For Your Bridge
It is very important to brush and floss around dental bridges to keep the gums healthy, prevent gum recession, and prevent recurrent decay, which can result in the loss of the bridge. The flossing technique requires “threader floss.” The technique for flossing under a bridge is taught to all patients who receive bridges. There are also a variety of interdental brushes that can be used instead of floss.
Dr. Shiewitz or one of our experienced hygienists will recommend the best option for your individual needs.