Dental bridge placed on dental implants
What is a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are a method of replacing teeth where not all the teeth are directly attached to the bone structure of the mouth. For example, if a person has individual crowns each dental crown is attached to the bone structure either through the crown prep or the implant.
However, with bridges not all the teeth are supported to bone structure. Instead some teeth are attached to crowns, rather than rooted in the bone. This forms a “bridge” as you have one or more crowns attached to the bone structure and then the teeth in the middle are only attached to the crowns on the sides. The crowns on the side are called Abutment teeth and the teeth they are attached to are the pontic teeth.
Why do I Need a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are used if a person has one or more missing teeth. If this issue is not resolved, then there can be several issues as a result. Some of the issues can be:
- Trouble eating
- Bone deterioration
- Teeth shifting
Bridges vs Partial Dentures
For one or more missing teeth both a dental bridge and partial denture could be an option. Both have advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the partial denture bridge doesn’t cost as much and is removable. On the other hand, the bridge costs more, but is usually the more desirable option as its fixed in place.
Does it Hurt?
We find that most of our patients don’t report much pain during the procedure. After the procedure there tends to be some sensitivity at the beginning, but it eventually goes away. Rather than describing it as pain, it’s better described as a minor discomfort.
Dental Bridge Procedure
For implant bridges the first step is placing the implants. After the implants are placed, we typically wait 3 months before proceeding with the remainder of the procedure. The reason is the bone structure surrounding the implants needs to fully heal before placing the bridge.
For traditional bridges and cantilever bridges we can perform the procedure in one day thanks to our CEREC machine.
What Materials are used in a Dental Bridge?
At Hampden Dental Loft we primarily use either Zirconia or lithium disilicate. Both are terrific options and we make both types in our dental practice.
This is an extremely durable material. It’s a white metal that somewhat resembles titanium. Zirconia is one of the more durable materials for bridges, but one of the disadvantages is it doesn’t look as beautiful as some other material options.
Although not as durable as Zirconia, lithium disilicate looks more like a natural tooth. Due to this we often use it on front teeth. Even though it’s not as durable as zirconia, it is strong enough to last a very long time.
How to Care for Your Dental Bridge
With proper care, dental bridges can last well over a decade. Food particles could get stuck in small gaps and under the bridge itself. For this reason, we suggest using a water pick daily. Bridge flossers are a good option as well. And of course, it’s also important to see your dentist for checkups.
How Long do Bridges Last?
We often say that you can expect your bridge to last at least 10 years. However, it’s not uncommon for them to last several decades. For example, we have seen some patients with bridges that are over 30 years old!
Dental bridge being milled on our CEREC machine
How we Make our Dental Bridges in Our Greenwood Village Office
At Hampden Dental Loft we have a CEREC machine that we use to make bridges in house. This has two main benefits. First, we have complete control over the manufacturing process. Second, it is extremely convenient for you as we can make them in one day. You get their mouth digitally scanned and have the bridge placed within the same visit.
Are Dental Bridges Covered by Insurance?
Yes, dental bridges are typically covered by insurance. It’s common for dental insurance to pay 50% of the cost. If you don’t have dental insurance, we have affordable insurance options that we can suggest.
Why Choose our Greenwood Village Dentist for a Bridge?
We realize you have several options of where you can get a dental bridge in Greenwood Village. At Hampden Dental Loft you can be sure that you’re getting a high-quality bridge that’s fitted well. And since we have a CEREC machine we can make the bridge in one appointment. Dr. Cha is extremely skilled with creating and placing bridges and he will be sure to take good care of you.