Amalgam Fillings / Silver Mercury Fillings
White Fillings / Composite Fillings
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is an artificial tooth that fills the space of a missing tooth by attaching to the adjacent natural teeth. Bridges are either permanently cemented, or they may be removable.
There are three main reasons why we should replace a missing tooth with a dental bridge:
1. Esthetics and Confidence: A smile with a full set of teeth is a brighter and more beautiful smile than one that is missing even a single tooth. Often, people who are missing teeth hide their smile, or refuses to smile all together. This can affect a person's self confidence. Studies show that people who smile less often are less likely to receive a promotion in their career when compared to their counterpart who smile more often.
2. Function: People who are missing teeth often complain that they are not able to eat. People who are not able to enjoy the foods that they love often report they have a lower quality of life. A full set of teeth allows you to eat and maintain proper nutrition.
3. Protecting Other Teeth: When a tooth is missing, all the other teeth in the mouth has to bear more load to pick up the slack. A full set of teeth allow each tooth to bear less load. Teeth that bear less load are less likely to crack or fracture.
The goal of the bridge is to restore function and esthetic by replacing a missing tooth. Typically, a dental bridge that is well made can last up to 30 years, provided the natural supporting tooth does not develop any cracks, fractures or cavities.
What is a Cemented Bridge?
A cemented bridge (also know as a fixed bridge) consists typically of two crowns adjoined by an artificial tooth in the middle. The crowns are cemented to the teeth that are in front of the space and behind the space as support, and the artificial tooth in the middle fills the space where the tooth is missing.
The main advantage of a cemented bridge is that it feels like your natural tooth because it is permanently cemented onto the natural support teeth. Cemented bridges are typically more expensive than removable bridges.
The preparation of the teeth for a bridge may require two visits to the dental office. At the first visit, the adjacent teeth are the tooth trimmed down by about 1mm in each direction to make space for the dental crowns. Then a mould is taken and sent to the dental laboratory to fabricate the dental bridge. A custom shade is taken to ensure that the permanent bridge is shade matched to the natural teeth. A temporary bridge is made and temporarily cemented onto the tooth. At the second visit, the temporary crown bridge is removed, and the permanent bridge is cemented.
What is a Removable Bridge?
A removable bridge consists typically of a false tooth with two sets of clasps that grab onto the teeth that are adjacent to the space.
The main advantage of a removable bridge is that it doesn't require the trimming down of the natural adjacent teeth. However, they are not nearly as secure as cemented bridges. Removable bridges are typically more inexpensive than removable bridges.
The fabrication of a removable bridge require two visits to the dental office. At the first visit, a dental mould is taken and sent to the dental laboratory to fabricate the dental bridge. A custom shade is taken to ensure that the dental bridge is shade matched to the natural teeth. At the second visit, the removable bridge is delivered and care instructions are reviewed.
Disadvantages of Metal Materials
In the past, cemented dental bridges used to be made of silver metals or gold metals. For esthetics, some porcelain was added on top of the metal bridges, but they chipped off very easily. There are four main downsides to metal bridges:
1. Bridges that are made of silver or gold are very poor in esthetics. Patients with metal bridges often avoid smiling because they may be embarrassed. This can have a significant impact on the patient's self confidence.
2. Some metal bridges contain Nickel, and Nickel very often causes an allergic reaction. Patients with nickel allergy may end up with long-term gum inflammation due to having a metal bridges.
3. Metal bridges that contain gold can be very expensive because gold is a precious metal.
4. Porcelain that has been added to metal bridges tend to chip off very easily. This leaves sharp edges that cut the tongue, and a horrible appearance.
Advantages of Zirconia Materials
At 604 Dental, we prefer to delivery zirconia bridges (also known as ceramic bridge). There are four main advantages to zirconia bridges:
1. Esthetics: Zirconia bridges are white, and we choose a custom shade to match your natural teeth.
2. Strength: Zirconia is the hardest material used in dentistry today. Zirconia bridges are more than 4x stronger than traditional metal bridges. This means that the preparation of the tooth for zirconia bridges is more conservative because it require less cutting of natural tooth structure.
3. Hypoallergenic: Zirconia is the second most compatible material to the human body in the world (the most compatible material to the human body is titanium). This means that it is not likely to develop an allergy to Zirconia.
4. Inexpensive: Zirconia bridges are much cheaper than bridges that contain gold or other precious metals.
Zirconia is currently the ideal material of choice for dental bridges.
604 Dental - Vancouver
5733 Main Street,
Vancouver, BC V5W 4C7