Who is a candidate for a dental bridge?

The gap left behind by a missing tooth is an unsightly blemish on a patient’s smile. Fortunately, a dental bridge offers a simple fix in such a situation.

Dentists can use a dental bridge to affix a prosthetic tooth in an empty space. In the most common form of dental bridges, the fixed permanent bridge, that prosthetic tooth (also known as a pontic) is held in place by anchors on adjacent teeth.

Another type of dental bridge that may be used by dentists is the resin-bonded bridge, in which metal bands are bonded to resin, which is in turn bonded to the tooth. The bridge is then anchored to those metal loops.

Nearly all patients with a single missing tooth or just a few absent teeth should be candidates for dental bridges. Good oral health is important to a successful bridge, so if patients have uncontrolled gum disease, that issue may need to be addressed before the bridge can be placed.

At the same time, extensive decay in adjacent teeth may present a problem for prospective dental bridge patients. If the tooth is too unstable to have a crown placed, the patient may need to explore other options.

Although dental bridges are effective and economical, patients should be aware that they are not permanent solutions. When cared for properly, a bridge can last for up to a decade, but eventually it will need to be replaced.

To ensure longevity in a dental bridge, patients should take care to brush and floss thoroughly in the vicinity of the bridge. When the bridge cannot be removed, patients must use floss threaders for access to the gumline underneath the appliance.

Replacing a missing tooth is important not only for aesthetic reasons but also to protect a patient’s oral health. If the space remains empty, the remaining teeth may shift to fill in that gap and get knocked out of the proper alignment. The remaining teeth may also be more susceptible to disease and decay.

Patients who need to replace missing teeth should consider a dental bridge. Contact our dentists serving Dallas County to inquire about the devices and their benefits.