Bridges are one of the most visibly dramatic symbols of the industrial age. Whether you think of the Tower Bridge in London, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco or the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan, you are imagining not only a practical solution to the problem of crossing water, but a symbol of national pride. Or you think of the aesthetic pleasure of balance and form, such as the Conde McCullough Memorial Bridge near North Bend, Oregon. In the same way, dental bridges are important not only for the health benefits they give, but also for the aesthetic and psychological improvements that they achieve for their recipients.
Dental Bridge Defined
A dental bridge, like a suspension bridge, spans the gap left between teeth when you lose a tooth or has to have one removed for some reason. Bridges are false teeth suspended by other teeth with specially designed crowns for the purpose. Dental Bridges come in three types:
· Traditional bridges have one or more artificial teeth attached to a crown on either side of the gap.
· Maryland or Resin bonded bridges consist of a metal framework bonded to neighboring teeth with a resin. Because they require less preparation on the neighboring teeth, these bridges are both less expensive and less strong.
· Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the bridge.
Purpose of Bridges
Gaps between teeth are not only visually unappealing, but can lead to a number of health problems, including:
· Drifting of remaining teeth
· Misaligned teeth
· Increased tooth wear
· Bone deterioration
· Shrinking Jawbone
· Leaning teeth
· TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) problems
In order to prevent all these possible complications, bridges should be installed soon after tooth loss. Unlike dentures, bridges are fixed and can not be removed. With proper care, they can contribute to your health and beauty for ten years or more.
Dental bridges can also be installed at the same time as other cosmetic dentistry procedures are done, such as tooth whitening. Another solution to help prevent the negative effects of tooth loss is dental implants.