Bridges are used to replace a missing tooth or teeth, which is attached by crowns to natural teeth or implants. The advantage is that it completely replaces the original teeth aesthetically and functionally. Prior to placement of the bridge, the teeth adjacent to the gaps (edentulous part) are grinded down. The dental laboratory subsequently fabricates the bridge according to the impressions and requirements of the doctor. At the dental office then, the doctor tries the fit and fixes the bridge on the prepared teeth. Currently, all-ceramic and metal-ceramic bridges are used. In case of metal-ceramic restoration, metal construction forms the basis on which the ceramic layer is fused. Fabrication and placement of the bridge can usually be handled in two visits to the dental office. Ceramic bridges comply with the maximum aesthetic and functional requirements, fabrication and placement of the bridge can be performed in one visit to the dental office thanks to the newest technology (CEREC).
What does dental bridge solve?
Dental bridge is a prosthetic restoration of one or several missing teeth, which is firmly attached using crowns on the teeth adjacent to the edentulous area. Bridges can also be attached to implants. At the present, dental bridges can be all-ceramic or metal-ceramic.
All-ceramic dental bridge is an ideal solution for the loss of one and several teeth. Their advantage is that they are very aesthetic and indistinguishable from natural teeth. They are ideal for the front parts of teeth, but the latest technologies and materials allow the use of all-ceramic bridges in the rear areas of the mouth as well. Ceramic material is strong enough and it has very similar physical properties to the genuine teeth – it expands in heat and shrinks in cold, it transmits light. Moreover, the material is hypoallergenic. Ceramic bridges are now produced by different technologies - either in a dental laboratory or in the dental office without having to make impressions using the CEREC technology.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental bridge is a standard type of dental bridge that consists of metal coat (part/base), which is applied to the ceramic layer corresponding to the color of the teeth. The combination of materials provides sufficient strength and resistance to the bridge, but worsens its aesthetic qualities - because the base is metal, it is not transparent, it has lower gloss and the lower edges of the bridge are dark. When using the metal-ceramic dental bridge, there is an extra risk of the patient's allergic reaction to the metal.
Who is dental bridge suitable for?
Dental bridge is suitable for patients who are dissatisfied with the look of their teeth, patients whose teeth are damaged or missing in some sections.
What happens prior to the application of dental bridge?
The basic step is to perform a thorough dental examination and assessment of the condition of the patient’s teeth. The examination is followed by a consultation about the patient’s demands and possible solutions are proposed. In case of the root damage, the placement of an implant can be performed prior to the application.
Standard dental bridge is applied on well-anchored teeth (teeth with healthy roots) that the doctor must first grind down to a slightly conical shape. Teeth preparation is performed under local anesthesia and it is painless. After the teeth are prepared, the doctor makes impressions according to which the dental laboratory makes the desired type of dental bridge. The patient receives a temporary restoration, which the patient wears until the next visit.
Placement/application of dental bridge
During the next visit, the doctor tests the fit of the new bridge. If the fit is satisfactory, the dental bridge is fixed using a special resin or cement.
However, new technologies can handle the fabrication of dental bridge much faster. If the patient chooses an all-ceramic dental bridge, it is possible to perform the whole procedure during a single visit at the dental office using a modern device CEREC.
After the application of the bridge, the dentist introduces the patient to all information pertaining to correct dental care because perfect oral hygiene is always an essential part of subsequent care.
Even though the dental bridge fully replaces teeth aesthetically and functionally, its durability depends on patient care and caution while applying pressure to the teeth (biting and chewing of very hard foods, etc.).
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