Everything You Need To Know About Dental Bridges

It's not uncommon for people to lose a few teeth, especially as they age. Often, gum disease will lead to tooth loss, as can medical conditions. Injuries to the mouth can also knock out teeth. While dental implants are now available, not everyone is a suitable candidate for this newer technology. Dental implants can also be quite expensive and are rarely covered by insurance. Thankfully, patients have another option—dental bridges. Here is what you need to know.

What Is A Dental Bridge?

A missing tooth in the back of your mouth isn't the end of the world, especially if it is the last tooth, but a gap in your front teeth can be embarrassing. Adjacent teeth can also shift if they don't have an anchor tooth to keep them aligned. A dental bridge is so named because it bridges the gap with an artificial replacement tooth or teeth.

What Is A Dental Bridge Made From?

For back teeth, your dentist may opt for a gold tooth or metal alloy, depending on your budget. Although a metal replacement tooth won't look natural, it doesn't matter as much on a tooth that will be rarely, if ever, seen.

For front teeth, porcelain is the material of choice, although there are other composite materials that can be used. Porcelain teeth are fragile, just like real teeth. They can still chip or stain, and they need to be treated with care.

How Are Dental Bridges Placed?

There are three options dentists have for placing a dental bridge. The first is called a traditional bridge. The artificial tooth or teeth are anchored to the adjoining teeth. The adjoining teeth are first capped, and then the artificial tooth or teeth is placed between them. "Capping" your teeth means a toothlike sleeve is placed over the existing tooth. Oftentimes, capping a tooth is done to improve its appearance, but in this case, it is done to strengthen the adjacent teeth and provide a way to adhere to the artificial tooth.

Another method of placing a bridge is called the cantilever method. This is used when there is only one adjacent tooth to affix the artificial tooth. The adjacent tooth is capped, and the artificial tooth is cemented in place to the cap. The last method is called a Maryland bridge. This isn't commonly used, but it relies on tiny metal clips to keep the artificial tooth in place.

Get in touch with a clinic such as Pembroke  Pines Dental to learn more.