Dental bridges, like implants and partial dentures, are used to replace missing teeth. There are several types of fixed dental bridges (cannot be removed), including conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges.
Typically, conventional and cantilever bridges require shaping of the teeth surrounding a missing tooth. Crowns are then placed on the shaped teeth and attached to an artificial tooth (called a pontic).
A resin-bonded bridge requires less preparation of adjacent teeth. It is often used to replace front teeth, provided that the gums are healthy and the surrounding teeth do not have extensive dental fillings.
Dental Bridges Consultation and Treatment Planning
Once you and Dr Delon Naidoo determine that a dental bridge is the best replacement for your missing tooth or teeth, you will be advised of different materials that the dental laboratory can use to make your restoration. Material availability will depend upon where in the mouth the bridge will be placed, whether or not you grind or clench your teeth (bruxism), your dental insurance coverage, and other factors outlined by your dentist. Dental bridges today can be fabricated from a combination of porcelain and metal, porcelain and gold, or exclusively with high-strength metal-free materials such as zirconia or alumina.
Dr D Naidoo will take X-rays and impressions of the area requiring a bridge, as well as preoperative photographs, for use in planning the ideal bridge restoration for you. Depending upon the number of consecutive teeth you are missing, your bridge could be three or more units; two crowns that are cemented to the teeth on either side of the space (called abutments), plus one or more false teeth (called pontics) to fill the space. Additional impressions will be taken after Dr Delon Naidoo prepares the abutment teeth for the bridge.
Dental Bridge Candidacy & Procedure
During the first visit, Dr Delon Naidoo examines the health of your gums and other teeth to evaluate if you are a candidate for a dental bridge. If you are a candidate for a dental bridge, you are given a local anaesthetic Dr D Naidoo can prepare the teeth required to support the bridge. If the support teeth are decayed or badly broken down,Dr Delon Naidoo may have to build them back up before they can be used as support teeth for a bridge.
Next, Dr Delon Naidoo an impression of the prepared teeth with a putty-like material that is used to create a model of your teeth. Your bridge is fabricated based on this model by a skilled lab technician so that it precisely fits the prepared teeth. It is important that your restoration fit perfectly to avoid additional oral health problems such as tooth decay.
While your bridge is being fabricated, Dr Delon Naidoo fits you with a temporary bridge so the teeth and gums can be protected from damage until your permanent bridge is ready.
To complete the dental bridge procedure, you must return our office for a second visit to have the bridge fitted and cemented.
Dental Bridges Recovery and Post-Procedure Care
After your dental bridge has been cemented into place, Dr Delon Naidoo will provide you with hygiene information to maintain the performance and longevity of your restoration, along with the health of your teeth and gums. A special bridge floss threader will allow you to properly and thoroughly floss the areas surrounding your bridge and between the pontic and underlying gum tissue. It should be used daily to prevent the build-up of plaque and bacteria. Proper brushing with fluoride toothpaste should be performed at least twice each day.
The Cost of Dental Bridges
The cost of dental bridges depends on several factors, including:
The potential need for additional procedures (such as fillings or root canals) in one or two of the adjoining teeth.
The artistic technique of the dentist and lab technician.
The location of the dentist.
The coverage provided by your medical aid.
The type of material used in the bridge.
The preparation of teeth involved in the bridge procedure.