Dental bridges are a good choice for anyone who has lost a tooth or teeth, but who doesn't need actual dentures. A bridge is a permanent implant or appliance of one or more teeth, which is cemented into the mouth and not meant to be removed. While a bridge may replace teeth you've lost, it may also be recommended that you have rotted or damaged teeth removed in order to have a bridge replace them. Note a few questions you might have about dental bridges so you can determine if this is the right choice for your oral care needs.
Are they permanent?
As said, dental bridges are not meant to be removed every night and cleaned, as you would with dentures. These bridges are usually secured with a type of brace that is cemented to other teeth around the bridge, so they stay securely in place.
However, bridges are not permanent in that they will never need replacing; after many years, the cement may lose its adhesion, or the bridge may wear away for a number of reasons. Your own dentist can tell you how long your bridge should last, and also give you tips on how to ensure you're caring for it properly over the years.
How many appointments are needed to get a dental bridge?
While a dental bridge installation is not as complicated as having a dental implant fitted into your mouth, and doesn't necessarily involve actual oral surgery, you may need to schedule more than one appointment for a bridge to be installed. A dentist will usually need to take x-rays to ensure the jaw bones are strong enough to hold the bridge, and some type of imprint of your teeth so that he or she can form the bridge. The teeth may also need to be slightly shaved so that they can easily hold the brace for the bridge. Your dentist can note how many visits you will need for your bridge, but don't assume it's a quick job that requires just one appointment at their office.
Do dental bridges interfere with speaking or eating?
You may actually find it easier to speak and eat when you have a dental bridge, versus missing teeth, as teeth rely on each other for proper support in order to form words and chew food. Because a bridge is cemented to other teeth, you also may not need to prepare foods a certain way in order to eat them comfortably, as you would if you had dentures.