Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a common service provided here at Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implant Center. A bridge is often used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress on your bite. As the American Dental Association describes it, a dental bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where one or more teeth used to be. If multiple layers of your teeth have been severely damaged, you may need to remove the broken tooth and have it replaced with a bridge.

Traditional dental bridges are tooth-supported, which means dental crowns need to be placed on the teeth that are adjacent to the gap in your smile. The crowns are attached to replacement teeth, each of which is called a pontic. Usually, a tooth-supported bridge is held in place with crowns covering one tooth either side of the gap, although it is sometimes possible to only crown the tooth on one side of the gap.

Types of Dental Bridges

We offer three different types of dental bridges at Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implant Center. The type of bridge that we recommend to patients depends on the situation and the health of the patient, but each type of bridge has advantages and benefits. Our prosthodontists determine which type of bridge would best suit the patient following a thorough evaluation.

Traditional Bridges

Traditional bridges involve two crowns on either side of the missing tooth with a pontic in between the crowns. This is the most common type of bridge that we use at Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implant Center. Typically, traditional bridges are made out of porcelain that has been fused to metal or ceramics.

Cantilever Bridges

A cantilever bridge is an option when it isn’t possible to anchor the bridge to a natural tooth on either side of a gap. Situations that are most appropriate for a cantilever bridge are those where there is only one anchor tooth on one side of the gap. This type of bridge is not used very often and typically it is not recommended for use in the back of the mouth because it can put too much force on the other anchor teeth. This can cause unwanted damage so often, cantilever bridges are a second choice to implants or other restorative options.

Maryland Bonded Bridges

Maryland bonded bridges are also known as resin-bonded bridges or just a Maryland bridge. They can be made from a variety of materials including porcelain, porcelain that has been fused to metal, or even plastic with an underlying metal and porcelain framework. The porcelain or metal wings are usually fused to your existing teeth on just one side of the bridge.

The Procedure

The procedure for getting a dental bridge can vary depending on how whether your prosthodontist uses a temporary bridge, in which the procedure will take place over multiple appointments or opts for a same day bridge where the permanent bridge is placed in one appointment. Other than the placement of a temporary bridge, the procedures are essentially identical.

The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments out of your existing teeth where the bridge will be attached. The existing teeth, typically adjacent to the game, are shaved down to have crowns placed in order to provide a solid base for the bridge. After the abutments have been created, a mold is taken of the area which is sent to a dental lab. The lab is able to use the mold to create a bridge that will fit properly and look and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. If you are having a same day bridge placed, you will wait a few hours as it is created in the lab before having it placed and being sent on your way. If you are not having a same day bridge, your mold will be sent to a lab and while your bridge is being created, you will have a temporary bridge placed until your next appointment when the procedure will be completed.

Dental bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials, and is created to look and feel as similar to your natural teeth as possible.

Caring for Dental Bridges

The success of any bridge depends on its foundation — the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it's very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong. Dental bridges can last anywhere from five to fifteen years, and even longer depending on how well you take care of them.

Just as with your natural teeth, it is important to floss daily and brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. It is also recommended to use interdental brushes, which are small devices with round or cone shaped bristles often attached to a thing wire that help rid you of plaque and build up between your teeth. These devices are great for cleaning under your dental bridges and extending their longevity. Avoiding foods that are too hard or sticky such as ice, hard candies, caramel, popcorn kernels, etc. will also help keep your bridges both clean and in pristine condition. At Washington State Prosthodontics, we also suggest frequent checkups and cleanings to ensure everything is looking good.

The Benefits of Dental Bridges

  • Restores the quality of your smile and improving your confidence
  • Provides the ability to eat, chew, and speak properly and without discomfort
  • Ensures your face maintains its natural shape
  • Prevents your other natural teeth from moving and shifting

Dental Bridges at Your Bellevue Prosthodontist

If you are considering your options for dental bridges, look no further than Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implant Center, the best prosthodontist in Bellevue, WA! Our staff is filled with knowledgeable and caring individuals who are here to take care of you. Give us a call today, or schedule a consultation to see how we can help restore your smile and give you back the confidence you deserve!