Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a common procedure which is done to fill the gap between missing tooth/teeth by replacing with false tooth/teeth and joining permanently to the other teeth. A bridge is made of one false tooth and two crowns. The bridge holds the false tooth in place while the two crowns are placed on each side of the gap.

The false teeth are called pontics, and are made from alloys, gold, porcelain, and/or a combination of materials.

Why it is needed

People choose dental bridges when

  • The tooth is a missing or loose due disease, decay, injury
  • So that they can eat and speak optimally
  • For a perfect smile

Facts and Figures

  • Gold dentures and dental bridges have been found in Etruscan tombs of about 500 BC
  • Crowns and bridges are usually preferred by patients over 50
  • Aesthetics is the primary reason for anterior bridges. Functionality is the reason behind posterior bridges

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • It’s an out-patient procedure, requiring 2-3 visits. Medical tourist can go home in 3 weeks, or immediately if they want to come back again
  • Bridges are very natural looking and enhances smile
  • Dental bridges have a long life span, can last approx 10-15 years if dental hygiene is followed
  • Prevents the adjacent teeth from drifting out of position

Disadvantages

  • Extreme tooth sensitivity for some weeks after the procedure
  • If dental hygiene is not followed, the chance of tooth decay and infection increases

Risks and Complications

  • Reaction to medicines or anesthetic
  • Injury to mouth and adjacent teeth
  • Bleeding
  • Misfitting of bridge, loosening

Pre-operative preparation

  • Visiting dentist to know about different bridge types and procedures
  • Know medicines to be stopped or taken before the procedure
  • Arrange for friends and family or other caregiver

Post-operative care

  • Tenderness might be experienced which will subside in a few days

Do’s, Don’ts and Precautions

  • Eat soft foods for 24 hours after the procedure
  • Keep the crown clean
  • Take medicines regularly
  • Rinse mouth 3 times a day with warm, saline water to reduce discomfort and swelling
  • Avoid cold, hot, acidic beverages and food
  • Use fluoride rinses and toothpaste
  • Brush and floss regularly