Dental Bridges by Kevin C. Lucky, DDS PLLC

Dental Bridges Add Strength & Function in West Virginia

Dental bridges, like crowns, are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants by a dentist or prosthodontist. Bridges are commonly used to cover a space if you are missing one or more teeth, surrounding the space where the tooth once stood.

Get to Know the Benefits of Dental Bridges

Kevin C. Lucky, DDS PLLC would like his patients to know the benefits of dental bridges. In addition to strengthening a damaging tooth, dental bridges can be used to improve a tooth’s appearance, shape, alignment and dental occlusion (bite). Gaps left by missing teeth can cause the remaining teeth to shift, which can result in a bad bite. Bridges and crowns help prevent this from happening.

A bridge, also known as a fixed removable denture, is made to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be supported in any of three ways:

  • By natural teeth
  • By implants
  • By a combination of teeth and implants

What Types of Dental Crowns are Available?

The traditional dental bridge is constructed by the creation of a crown for the teeth on either side of the space. A false tooth (or teeth) is placed between the crowns. The crowns, sometimes called caps, can be supported by natural teeth or by implants. The false tooth or teeth are attached to the crowns and fill the empty space. Healthy teeth are strong enough to receive the crown. They probably will not need root canal therapy. However, parts of the teeth will be removed to make space for the crowns.

Traditional bridges are made either of porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) or ceramics. There are other types of bridges as well. A cantilever bridge is held in the mouth by one or more crowns on only one side of the space where a tooth is missing. A Maryland bonded bridge consists of a metal framework with “wings” on each side. The wings are bonded to the back of your existing teeth. The false teeth are also bonded to the framework. This type of bridge is also called a resin-bonded bridge or an acid-etched bridge.

Bonded bridges are generally less expensive compared to traditional bridges. This is because the adjacent teeth need less preparation and do not get crowns. However, these bridges are only as strong as the bonding material. Resin-bonded bridges tend not to stay cemented in place as well as other kinds in parts of the mouth where there is a lot of the bite or the gums.

Getting a bridge requires at least two visits, but often more. At the first visit, your dentist prepares the teeth and covers them with temporary crowns. The dentist may also make impressions of the teeth. The bridge is placed at later visits. On average, bridges last five to seven years. A major reason bridges fail is that new cavities develop on the supporting teeth. These cavities occur because of poor oral hygiene. With proper hygiene, which includes flossing your teeth under the bridge, they will last longer.

Top Oral Care Tips for Dental Bridges

Dental bridges can last a lifetime with proper care; however, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown is to practice good oral hygiene:

  • Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily
  • See your dentist or hygienist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings
  • To prevent damage to your new crown or bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice, or other hard objects.

Contact Kevin C. Lucky, DDS PLLC for a consultation to review the type of restorative dental bridge that may be right for your situation. Care for your oral health for years to come with a strong and functional dental bridge available in Beckley, Summersville, and Webster Springs.