Most dental patients are familiar with the words “crowns” and “bridges”. They come up often when discussing different oral procedures. However, like many other medical terms, a large number of us are unsure as to their precise definition and function. It is a good idea to become a bit more aware of these options before you may need to undergo a procedure.
In simple terms, a bridge is a false tooth used to fill in the gap created by a missing tooth. A space between your teeth is not just unsightly. It may also lead to serious dental health problems down the road. That’s because teeth can shift position over time resulting in a change in the way you bite down or speak. Bridges help to remedy this situation by using the surrounding teeth. They act as anchors and hold to false tooth in place. Usually, porcelain crowns are placed on the anchored teeth, and the false tooth is then fused in the gap.
The field of dentistry uses three main types of bridges. A traditional fixed bridge is the most commonly used. This is when the surrounding teeth serve as anchors to keep the false tooth in place. The false tooth is most often made of either porcelain or ceramic. A cantilever bridge is used when there are teeth on just one side of the gap. Areas that use this type are usually front teeth, or parts of the mouth that do not involve much chewing. Lastly, there is the resin-bonded bridge. With this type of bridge, metal bands are bonded to the anchor teeth using resin to keep a plastic false tooth in place. This is also typically used more often in the mouth area that undergoes less chewing and stress.
As a general rule, two visits are required for the bridge. The first appointment usually entails preparing the anchor teeth for the crown. On some occasions, this may require filing down the tooth. Impressions are then taken so the crown and bridge can be custom made. Then a temporary bridge is placed in the mouth to protect the teeth while the permanent bridge is prepared. At the second visit, the temporary bridge is replaced with the permanent one and fitted.
In the Chicago suburb of Glenview, please call the office of Dr. Malik at (847) 724-1771 for any questions regarding crowns and bridges. The doctor and his experienced staff can address all your questions and any other dental concerns.