Things You Must Know Before Getting Dental Bridges
Even after taking care of your teeth, at one point, they might tire. Tooth loss or tooth decay can be a problem and can affect your self-esteem and confidence. Fortunately, there are solutions for such cases, and the most effective and common is using a dental bridge. The detailed guide below provides you will all you may need to know on what dental bridges are. Also, you will understand how long they can last and whether they are permanent or not.
What are dental bridges?
A dental bridge is an artificial tooth-like object that replaces missing teeth. Dental bridges come in various shapes and sizes to fit in the open space where the tooth was. You can use them for aesthetic and practical purposes to help you speak and eat better. Besides, they help in restoring the appearance of your teeth.
Typically, the bridge features a construction of varying materials, including porcelain, gold, or alloys. When replacing an anterior tooth, you can often prefer using porcelain material as it can blend in with the natural tooth color.
Are dental bridges permanent?
The answer to that question might be no, as there isn't a permanent dental treatment. However, dental bridges can be a permanent solution for missing teeth. In general, we expect well-fixed dental bridges to last 10 to 30 years, depending on the health condition of the mouth and the teeth. Also, the level of oral hygiene can determine its longevity. However, some of the most durable bridges can last around over 30 years.
Remember that you can chip a dental bridge the same way you accidentally chip a natural tooth. However, wear and tear vary from person to person depending on bite intensity, eating habits, gums, oral health, and oral care quality. When a professional carry out the dental bridgeworks with experience and skill, the restoration is reliable, and the chances of success and longevity are much more significant.
In fact, according to a study of the long-term survival of the restoration, one of the most successful determining factors is the dentist's experience and skills and attention to detail. We call it the medium effect, whereby the quality and success of a dental bridge depend on the dentist's skills and experience when performing it. Typically, several dental studies confirm it on treatment success and outcomes.
Regardless of the dentist's skills, keep in mind that a patient should have a healthy mouth and attend hygiene appointments. Also, regularly maintain the dental bridge and practice good oral hygiene.
When can you say that you need dental bridges?
The loss of a tooth is the primary cause of other dental problems. For instance, if you lose a tooth, the teeth near the gap can tilt or shift to fill the void. Likewise, the teeth on the opposite jaw tend to move up or down, trying to fill the space.
In some cases, it affects the bite and puts pressure on the teeth and chin, leading to pain. On the other hand, dental bridgeworks help restore the oral health. Besides, the misaligned or tipped teeth are often more challenging to clean, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Such effects often add an entirely new layer of dental problems to the missing tooth.
Furthermore, without a tooth, the jaw's underlying bone can shrink over time. The jaw's way of supporting the cheeks and lips can also change, finally altering the face's natural shape. Using a dental bridge helps the teeth to stay in place, preventing them from shifting and tilting.
Most dentists install dental bridges if the patient already has dental crowns on the abutments. Also, dentists can recommend a dental bridge if medical reasons make it impossible to use an implant. Besides, some congenital conditions may prevent implants, making dental bridgeworks the only practical solution.
How do you maintain dental bridges?
While dental bridges won't last forever, the following maintenance tips will help extend their life span.
Avoid chewing rocky substances or ice
Dental crowns and bridges feature a solid and durable ceramic construction, but they can break if you apply too much force or pressure, like healthy teeth. Avoid unhealthy habits like chewing ice cream or opening packages or bottles with your teeth. Such practices can out rightly destroy the dental bridge or shorten its life span.
Clean the dental bridge daily
You might think that a solid dental bridge is prosthetic and needs no maintenance, but that's wrong. It's advisable to brush through your dental hygiene routine with a soft toothbrush each day to avoid the possible build-up of tartar and plaque on your teeth.
Don't forget to floss
Flossing is an essential aspect of oral hygiene as it is necessary to clean the gaps between the teeth and gums to prevent gum disease or plaque build-up. Floss every day, especially after eating and before bed, and make sure there are no food particles on your teeth.
Do a fluoride rinse
The goal of a dental bridge is to restore the function and strength of the dental crown over the gum line. First, however, is to take precautions to ensure that the gum line is in the correct position and excellent condition.
Typically, fluoride rinse prevents bacteria or plaque from accumulating in this area. Although brushing your teeth and flossing is beneficial, using fluoride on your teeth will strengthen your teeth against cavities. A fluoride rinse is highly advisable for people at high risk for tooth decay or gum disease.
To conclude, after inserting the dental bridge, you may feel some sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks for the first few days. You can ask your dentist for advice on products that can alleviate this symptom in such a case. In addition to regular home care, you should keep attending the biannual dental appointments for exams and cleanings. During the consultation, the dentist will check that the fixed dental bridges are in place and in good condition. With adequate care, you won't require dental bridge replacement for years.