Located in Centerville, Virginia, the dentists of the Dulles Dental Group provide quality cosmetic and restorative services. Dental bridges are used to restore teeth to a normal alignment and create healthy smiles.
Bridges Q & A
What’s a Dental Bridge?
A bridge replaces one or missing teeth. This dental prosthesis may be removable or cemented into place. It is made of plastic and/or metal, although the prosthetic teeth may be porcelain/ceramic or resin composite materials. A dental bridge isn’t just for appearance, as the teeth can shift into the open space left by a missing tooth or teeth. This can cause bite problems, headaches and jaw pain.
How Do Bridges Work?
The bridge is a substitute for missing tooth or teeth. If it is removable, it is often called a partial plate. In both cases, the appliance “bridges” the space where the teeth are missing. A permanent bridge is cemented into place and fastened to the teeth next to the gap. A removable bridge has metal hooks that keep it in place. Once installed or inserted, a dental bridge works just like natural teeth.
What Are Bridges Made of?
The materials for the bridge depend on its use and whether it will be removable, but most have both metal and plastic parts. The prosthetic teeth attached to the bridge can be made from porcelain or ceramic, or from a resin composite material. Both can be shaped to look like a natural tooth and color-matched to their existing teeth. The materials in the bridge can affect cost, so discuss this issue with the dentist before making a final decision.
Does a Dental Bridge Need Special Care?
Like natural teeth, a dental bridge needs daily care. Floss (daily) and brush (twice daily) like normal. If the bridge is removable, take it out to clean it. Continue to see the dentist twice a year and have teeth cleaned regularly, and make sure to tell the hygienist about the bridge. The bridge might break if patients chew hard candy or ice, or use their teeth for tasks such as opening packages. If the bridge is removable, don’t drop it, as it may bend or break.