Dental Bridges in North Central San Antonio
A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth. It’s made up of several pieces fused together to fit into the open space where the tooth used to be. Bridges are a good choice for those who don’t wish to get dental implants or dentures.
Some reasons patients might choose a bridge are to fill the space of missing teeth, maintain facial shape, prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position, restore chewing and speaking ability, and restore their smile.
Dental bridges are an alternative to partial dentures. They serve both practical and aesthetic purposes, enabling patients to eat and speak better, as well as restoring the appearance of the patient’s teeth.
Types of Bridges
There are several types of bridges. Dr. Lazor will discuss the best options for each patient’s particular case.
- The traditional fixed bridge is the most popular type. It’s usually made of porcelain fused to metal. This type of bridge consists of two crowns, which go over two anchoring teeth and are attached to artificial teeth known as pontics, filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
- The implant-supported bridge is anchored by implants in the jaw for each missing tooth. The bridge is placed over them in a later procedure after the implants have healed.
- The cantilever bridge is not commonly used. It’s only anchored by one natural tooth on one side of the mouth.
- The Maryland dental bridge is often used to replace front teeth. Instead of crowns, it uses porcelain or metal frameworks with “wings” that are bonded to the back of the teeth on either side of the gap.
Whatever option patients choose, dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years. However, they may need replacement or to be cemented again due to normal wear.
What Does Getting a Fixed Bridge Involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. After X-rays and examination, the dentist will prepare the teeth on either side of the bridge. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown.
Next, an impression is made to send to the dental laboratory where the custom bridge will be made. A temporary bridge is also made at this time and worn for several weeks until the next appointment.
At the second visit, the permanent bridge is carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally, Dr. Lazor may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing the patient’s teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented later.
After receiving your bridge, the dentist will demonstrate how to brush and floss around the bridge. Brushing twice a day is recommended, just like for natural teeth. Regular visits to the dentist are also important to maintain the bridge.