Your natural teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, but there are extenuating circumstances that make that highly unlikely for many people. Decay, disease, and trauma are popular reasons why a person may end up losing teeth. Replacement of the missing tooth or teeth can be accomplished in several ways. One of the more popular methods of replacement is by using a dental bridge.
The Dental Bridge as a Restoration
Dental bridges replace a missing tooth or teeth by filling in the gap with an artificial tooth. This is done by making a dental prosthetic which consists of two crowns attached to an artificial tooth or teeth. These artificial teeth are also called politics. One crown is on either side of one or more artificial teeth creating the bridge. The natural teeth adjacent to the gap (abutment teeth) made by the missing teeth are prepared for placement of a crown. The crowns of the bridge are fitted onto the abutment teeth and cemented in place. The dental bridge restores the chewing surface and the natural look of your smile.
The bridge is often made from porcelain fused to metal. It can also be made from gold, alloys or a combination of these materials. Abutment teeth can be natural teeth or dental implants. Sometimes a natural tooth is on one side of the bridge and a dental implant is on the other side.
The Lifespan of a Dental Bridge
Under normal circumstances, dental bridges last anywhere from five to fifteen years or more. Dental insurance guideline stipulates an expectancy of at least five years, meaning that you would not be eligible for coverage for a second bridge to replace the first one until five years have passed. In most cases, when people use good oral hygiene the dental bridge will last over ten years.
Taking Care of Your Dental Bridge
Like any oral appliance, you must take care of the dental bridge to extend its life. Good oral hygiene includes regular dental checkups and professional cleanings. These annual visits are important for several reasons.
Not only does your dentist and the hygienist monitor your overall oral health, but they also pay special attention the bridgework to make sure there are no cracks or breakage and no signs of gum problems around the abutment teeth. Plaque buildup around these teeth in difficult to reach areas could result in gingivitis and ultimately threaten the success of the bridge. Regular checkups can prevent problems from developing.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth and would like more information on your options for filling in the gap, contact Porter Dental. We will be happy to talk to you about getting a dental bridge or looking at other options for restoring your smile. We look forward to helping you get your beautiful smile glowing again. Contact us today for an appointment with one of our highly skilled dentists.