When you have one or more missing teeth, a dentist often recommends a bridge as a solution to replacing those teeth and filling gaps.
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap between the empty space and the remaining healthy teeth. Dental bridges are not to be confused with dental implants. A dental bridge is supported by the teeth on the sides of the gap, whereas dental implants are self-supporting.
What makes you a qualified candidate for a dental bridge? And how long does it take for a dental bridge to settle? We provide all the information you need in this article.
Why You Might Qualify for a Dental Bridge
When you have one or more missing teeth, your entire mouth changes, and the harmony between your teeth is lost. Changes such as misalignment, gaps between other teeth, and facial structure changes occur. Eventually, your biting, chewing, and even speech are affected due to the increased stress of other teeth.
A patient can qualify for a dental bridge if they have missing teeth and want to restore their smile, their ability to bite and chew correctly, readjust their bite, or prevent teeth from moving. Based on your unique situation, our experts can help determine if you’re a good candidate for a dental bridge during a consultation.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are four main dental bridge options available:
- Traditional Dental Bridge
- Cantilever Bridge
- Maryland Bridge
- Implant-Support Bridge
The best bridge to fit your needs depends on the condition of your remaining teeth and the location of the gap. If the supporting teeth around the gap are strong, a traditional dental bridge is recommended. This is when the dental bridge places crowns on the healthy teeth that support the attached bridge.
If you have specific circumstances, such as the teeth are not used for chewing, then a cantilever bridge is recommended. You’ll see this type of bridge often when replacing a tooth near the front of the mouth. Maryland bridges also replace front teeth, as the wings bond to the inner tooth surfaces. If the abutment teeth are missing or too weak to support a bridge, an implant-supported bridge is recommended.
Time It Takes for a Dental Bridge to Settle
From restoring your appearance and ability to eat to preventing misalignment and maintaining facial structure, the benefits of a dental bridge are plentiful.
Once you receive a dental bridge, your teeth are sensitive for a few days but pain is minimal, if any. Discomfort typically disappears within a few days, and most patients report it takes two weeks to adjust fully. During this time of settling, it’s important to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth and avoid extremely hot and cold foods.
Contact R. Renan Williams, DDS
A dental bridge improves both your smile and appearance while restoring function. The procedure is quick – generally two visits, each lasting between one and two hours. And the recovery time offers minimal to no pain.