You may have heard about dental bridges when looking for replacements for your missing teeth. Dental bridges are a type of permanent prosthetic that fills the gap from your missing teeth. No matter which teeth you are missing, there is a bridge option for you. Unlike dentures, dental bridges are permanently cemented to your remaining natural teeth.
One of the requirements for dental bridges is to have teeth that can support the appliance. Dental bridges are not removable. Therefore, your dentist will cement the bridge to your remaining dental structures using a special bond. You can still get dental implants even if you have a dental implant. In fact, there are implant-supported bridges that utilize an implant for support.
However, if you don’t have any teeth stable enough to hold a dental bridge, it won’t be possible to get the appliance. Without teeth holding the dental bridge, you may consider using partial dentures as an alternative.
Free of Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
Before you can receive dental bridges, your dentist must ensure that you are free of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can advance without treatment. Initially, gum disease begins as mild bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth. Also, you can experience red or swollen gums. As it advances, you can develop a more severe infection. It is possible to lose teeth due to gum disease. In addition, you can experience deterioration of the gums and jaw bones.
One of the reasons gum disease needs treatment is because it will spread and advance. Therefore, you need treatment before you can get dental bridges. When you have a dental appliance, it can make it more difficult to treat your gum disease.
In addition to checking for gum disease, your dentist will ensure that there is no decay in your supporting teeth. If your teeth have decayed, they will not be strong enough to support the structure of your dental bridge. Also, you don’t want to go through the process of getting a dental bridge only to need it removed for a dental filling or crown.
Medical and Lifestyle Limitations
Certain medical issues or lifestyle behaviors can limit your ability to get dental bridges.
For example, smoking or chewing tobacco can interfere with dental bridges. Those who consume tobacco in any form have a much higher chance of developing gum disease or tooth decay. Additionally, some forms of chewing tobacco have small grains that can get underneath a dental bridge. This can cause irritation and possibly an infection, including gum disease or an abscess.
Because there is a small gap between the gums and the dental bridge, you must use a special type of floss that allows you to clean underneath it. This will help reduce plaque and minimize your chances of developing gum disease.
Some chronic medical conditions can interfere with your ability to get dental bridges. You will need to consult your doctor and dentist in order to be sure.