Dental Bridges in West Orange, New Jersey
If you have lost teeth due to trauma or decay, you might be frustrated with the empty spaces left behind. Having noticeable gaps between your teeth can make it difficult to smile or even interact with others — you may find yourself wondering if the person you are talking to is staring at the wide gaps in your mouth.
Do not fret! The friendly dentists of Northfield Dental Group can alleviate your concern, with the use of dental bridges. A fixed dental bridge is a long-lasting means of sealing a significant gap between teeth.
Dental Bridges, Explained
Drs. Stein, Widmayer and Shapiro use fixed, or non-removable, dental bridges to bridge, or fill in, the empty spaces between teeth.
When placing a dental bridge, your dentist uses the existing teeth on both sides of the empty space as a base to support the bridge. These anchoring teeth are referred to as “abutment” teeth. If you do not have healthy teeth adjacent to the gaps to serve as abutment teeth, your dentist may recommend dental implants instead of a bridge.
To place the bridge, your dentist shaves down the abutment teeth, creating enough surface space on each tooth to receive an overlying crown. Once a crown is secured onto each of the abutment teeth, your dentist bonds the synthetic tooth (or teeth) in the dental bridge to it. The synthetic teeth in the bridge are called “pontics.”
A fixed bridge is not permanent, but it is long lasting. With proper care — good, consistent oral hygiene practices that include seeing your dentist for routine exams and cleanings — your dental bridge should last between seven and 15 years, depending on your unique oral anatomy and your dental habits (e.g., if you clench your jaw).
Types of Dental Bridges
Northfield Dental Group offers three types of dental bridges:
Traditional bridges. If you have healthy teeth on both sides of the empty space(s) in your mouth, your dentist will most likely recommend traditional bridges. He places traditional bridges using the process explained above. These are typically comprised of porcelain combined with either metal or ceramic material.
Cantilever bridges. If you only have healthy teeth on one side of the empty space(s), your dentist will probably suggest cantilever bridges. Because a cantilever dental bridge is bonded to the adjacent teeth on one end only, they should only be used in areas of the mouth where you do not put an excessive amount of pressure on the abutment teeth. This typically means that cantilever bridges are best suited for use in the front of the mouth.
Resin-bonded bridges. Resin-bonded dental bridges have a metal foundation, with overlying plastic teeth and gums. This type of dental bridge does not require the dentist to prepare the neighboring abutment teeth as extensively as the other two types of bridges do. With a resin-bonded bridge, the New Jersey cosmetic dentist bonds the metal wings on both sides of the bridge to the backside of your existing teeth. Resin-bonded bridges are not usually a suitable option for use in the back of the mouth because the jaw puts too much pressure on the teeth there. They are also not an appropriate option if you have fillings in your abutment teeth.
Suitable Candidate for Dental Bridges
There are three main questions our dentists ask themselves when determining if someone is a suitable candidate for dental bridges: Does the patient have one or more missing teeth; do they have healthy, strong teeth neighboring the empty space(s) that can serve as abutment teeth; and do they practice good oral hygiene habits?
If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you are probably an appropriate candidate for dental bridges. Nonetheless, you should schedule an appointment with one of the experienced cosmetic dentists at Northfield Dental Group to find out for certain if you could benefit from dental bridge treatment.