What are dental bridges?
A dental bridge can replace one or more lost teeth with one or more artificial (fake) teeth if you are missing one or more teeth. A bridge is typically composed of crowns placed on either side of the lost tooth or teeth and put in place.
Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Typically, bridges are used to repair one or more missing teeth. They fill the area left by missing teeth. Bridges are glued to the surrounding natural teeth or dental implants. These teeth, known as abutments, function as anchors for the bridge. A portion of the original tooth will be removed to make room.
A pontic, a substitute tooth, is affixed to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, bridges are available in a variety of materials. Your dentist can advise you depending on the position of the lost tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetics, and cost. Bridges made of porcelain or ceramic can be matched to the shade of your natural teeth.
Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate”. A typical denture is ready to be placed in the mouth approximately eight to twelve weeks after the teeth have been extracted and the gum tissue has begun to recover.
Immediate dentures, unlike normal dentures, are produced in advance and can be placed as soon as the teeth are extracted. Consequently, the wearer does not need to be toothless during the healing period. However, bones and gums decrease over time, particularly during the healing phase after tooth extraction. Therefore, a downside of immediate dentures in comparison to conventional dentures is that they require more changes to fit properly during the healing process and should only be used as a temporary remedy until traditional dentures can be made.
A removable partial denture or bridge often comprises of replacement teeth affixed to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is coupled to a metal framework that secures the denture in the mouth. Partial dentures are utilized when one or more natural teeth are still present in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed (permanent) bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth by putting crowns on the teeth on either side of the gap and connecting artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then set in place using cement. A partial denture not only fills in the gaps left by lost teeth, but also prevents other teeth from shifting position. Precision partial dentures are removable and have internal attachments, as opposed to clasps that attach to the surrounding crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance.