Dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. When there is one or more teeth missing in the mouth, the surrounding teeth are in danger of becoming loose and falling out. Missing teeth can also cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), shifting of the teeth, change in bite, speech impediments, and an increased risk of periodontal disease. There are 3 main types of dental bridges available:
- Traditional fixed: A traditional fixed bridge consists of two or more crowns and one or more filler teeth. Also, known as the fixed bridge, the traditional bridge requires the surrounding tooth or teeth to be shaped for the crown, and they are made of porcelain fused to either metal or ceramics. Fixed bridges are the most commonly used bridge in the dental community.
- Cantilever Bridge:
The cantilever bridge is mainly used for the teeth located at the back of the mouth, because those teeth are known to be under minimal stress. Dentists normally only recommend using this bridge when there are only teeth on one side of the empty spot.
- Resin-Bonded Bridge:
A resin-bonded bridge is also known as the Maryland Bridge and is typically used for any missing front teeth. This bridge is made up of a porcelain tooth bonded in the middle of a small metal plate, to make wings on either side. The two metal wings are constructed to have a porous surface for the bonding agent to be applied between the wing and the surrounding teeth.
Recovery after receiving a dental bridge usually takes a few weeks to be able to fully use your new bridge. Patients are advised to eat soft foods for the first few weeks and slowly migrate to tougher foods It is normal for patients to notice an increase in sensitivity to extreme temperatures for the first few weeks as well.