Drs. Alexander and Kavita Shor are Seattle Prosthodontists and specializing in dental bridges. Dental bridge treatment is a complex dental procedure which requires proper training and experience. In the following text we discuss most important information about dental bridge treatment.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridge is an artificial prosthesis for the replacement of missing teeth. Dental bridge is supported by natural tooth or teeth. Dental bridge is constructed out of specially designed dental material and secured to the natural teeth by a dental adhesive.
Dental bridges are fabricated outside of the patient mouth by the dental laboratory. Dental bridges have been used in dentistry for a long time and are quite predictable. Dental research indicates that majority of dental bridges do well over 10 years. Dental bridge is one of the treatment options for the replacement of missing tooth or teeth. Other options for tooth replacement include dental implants or removable dentures.
What are the indications?
Dental bridge is indicated for the replacement of one or more missing or hopeless teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Ideal situation for the dental bridge includes replacement of just one to tooth. However it is not unusual when several teeth are replaced by the dental bridge. Before the dental implant era bridges were very common. Nowadays dental implants play more prominent role in the replacement of missing teeth and dental bridges are less common option in tooth replacement.
What material are used in dental bridge production?
Material choice is an important aspect of treatment with dental bridges. Dental bridges need to survive in the harsh environment of the oral cavity where patient exerts repeated chewing forces. Inside the mouth dental bridges also undergo chemical and temperature stresses from different types of food. Materials used for the dental bridge fabrication have to be bio-compatible to lower risk of allergic reaction or toxicity. Most common classes of materials in the fabrication of dental bridges include metal alloys, ceramics, or combination of both. Patients with known allergies should discuss the matter with a dentist to prevent possible allergic reactions during or after treatment.
What is a design of the dental bridges?
Most common design of the dental bridge includes replacement of one or several missing teeth. Teeth next to the missing tooth area are prepared via mechanical removal of outer tooth layer by about 1.00- 1.5 mm. Teeth which support dental bridge are called abutments. In order to provide adequate support for the dental bridge abutment teeth are typically reduced to the cone like shape with an optimized geometry.
Cantilevered bridge is a type of dental bridge where missing tooth is supported by one or more abutment teeth which are selected only on one side of the missing tooth. Cantilevered bridge can be a more conservative solution since it involves less abutment teeth.
Adhesive bridges is another type of dental bridges. Adhesive bridge is typically designed with the minimal amount of tooth removal and is a more conservative option.
What is a typical treatment process?
Treatment process with dental bridges varies depending on the clinical condition of the patient. In a more simple scenarios whole process may take just 2 or 3 dental appointments over several weeks. In more complex scenarios you may need a number of appointments over longer time period. It is also not unusual that abutment teeth may need more procedures such as core build-up fillings, root canal treatment, and crown lengthening surgery.
When abutment teeth and an area of missing tooth is ready, a dentist carries final preparation of the teeth as discussed in the design section. A dentist than takes a record of the teeth and jaws which is called an impression procedure. Impression can be done via analogue approach using impression materials placed over the teeth or via digital scanning of the teeth in a jaw. Since laboratory required several or more days for the completion for he bridge, dentist makes temporary bridge on the same appointment. Temporary bridge is usually made of plastic material and is attached to the abutment teeth with a temporary adhesive.
The records are than transferred to the dental laboratory. Laboratory than designs and makes permanent bridge and returns it back to the dentist. During the seat appointment your dentist removes temporary bridge, cleans abutment teeth, adjust dental bridge as needed and secures it to the abutment teeth with the help of dental adhesive.
What are the advantages, disadvantages and complications of this treatment?
Most important advantages of dental bridge treatment includes expedient and relatively predictable replacement of the missing tooth or teeth. Dental bridge treatment usually does not require surgical intervention and can be more conservative in comparison to the dental implants. Dental bridges are fixed and accepted better by the patient in comparison to the removable dentures.
Disadvantages of dental bridges include their less than conservative nature since they usually require irreversible tooth reduction. Abutment teeth may become prone to root canal infection or fracture. After years of function dental bridge adhesive can fail and this can cause decay on the abutment teeth.
What are the costs of dental bridge treatment?
Dental bridges present with moderate to high cost of treatment. Dental bridges are more expensive in comparison to the removable dentures. Cost of dental bridges can be comparable to the dental implant treatment.
Are you considering dental bridge treatment?
Dr. Alexander Shor and Dr. Kavita Shor are Seattle specialists in dental bridges and can give you a detailed analysis of your situation and potential treatment needs. Please contact our Seattle dental office for the initial evaluation.