You might think that “dental bridge” sounds like something for an old person. Maybe you think it sounds like some kind of dental work or a fix for a problem you don’t need. However, dental bridges are a vital part of the dental health of many people. Some people even think “dental bridge” is just a nice word for dentures.
The first step to understanding whether or not you need a dental bridge repair is gaining an understanding of what a dental bridge really is. The term “bridge” comes from the fact that a dental bride generally reaches across three teeth. It’s generally used to replace a tooth that has fallen out or been removed. The tooth in the middle is the replacement tooth. There are a lot of varieties of bridges. Generally, the middle tooth connects to existing teeth. In some cases, it connects to dental implants.
Dental bridges, like crowns and other dental devices, have evolved a long way from their original form. Past (and, in some cases, current) materials include gold and silver. Remember the days of gold crowns on teeth? The fix, in this case, is an obvious one. However, evolution of materials has led to the formulation of more accurate replications of teeth. Porcelain models more closely replicate tooth structure, texture, and, in most cases, they even can be color-adjusted to match the rest of the mouth.
Dental bridge installation, though, is not nearly as simple as San Antonio dentist just snapping a tooth between existing teeth. The teeth on either side of the gap, just like having a crown installed, must be reduced in size. Generally, they are filed down. Why? This allows for the artificial teeth to be placed over them without disrupting the existing dynamics of your mouth. No filing would result in abnormally large teeth, which is an unnecessary encumbrance.
Covering up the adjacent teeth is equivalent to crowning them. The extra inserted tooth is called a “pontic.” Say, however, that you lose three teeth in a row. Rather than get three dental implants, you can get a dental bridge. In lieu of crowning existing teeth, you can get two non-adjacent teeth as dental implants and then have a pontic in the middle.
Why not just get three dental implants? Well, to start, having two rather than three implants reduces swelling, trauma, etc. Any time skin or gums are punctured, there’s a risk for infection. Reducing the incisions made will reduce your risks of further complications. In addition, cost savings is an issue. When you reduce the extensiveness of a surgery, you generally reduce cost, which is important if you want to save money. Also, it’s not necessary to have all three teeth implanted – two implants, like two regular teeth, provide a sturdy anchor on which to attach the pontic.
In today’s age of advanced dentistry, there’s no need to be afraid of dental implants. Dental work is less conspicuous and less invasive than it used to be. Whether you’ve lost multiple teeth or have just lost one, dental bridges may be for you, even if you’ve had to undergo serious dental bridge repair in the past.
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