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What are dental bridges?

September 14, 2019

What are dental bridges?

Losing a tooth can make one self conscious about their smile - especially in this day and age. However, missing teeth can also be more than a cosmetic problem. Whether it’s due to injury, medical injury, or natural causes, many people experience pain while chewing, discomfort in their jaws, and an overall uncomfortable change to their bite after losing teeth. Dental bridges are a common fix for missing teeth. This article will explain what to expect when you consider having a dental bridged place in your mouth.

What is a Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges replace missing teeth, and are even styled to look like replacement teeth. They are most frequently placed via one of four methods. The first, most common, form of dental bridge is simply referred to as a “traditional” dental bridge. These dental bridges include one or more fake teeth which are held in place with crowns, which are then cemented to the teeth surrounding the gap. Second are cantilever bridges, which only uses the support of one crown on one side. This is useful if you only have one other tooth next to your missing tooth. Third are Maryland bridges. These use porcelain or metal framework to hold the fake tooth in place. They are not as strong as other dental bridges which are cemented in, so your dentist is not likely to recommend this method to replace a tooth with a lot of biting force. The final type of dental bridge is the implant-supported bridge. These are often used when multiple teeth are missing, as the bridge is held in place by implants secured to your jawbone. Dentists can place one implant for each tooth that is missing.

Dental Bridge Placement

Dental bridge placements are not surgical procedures, and thus they are done while the patient is awake. If the process makes you nervous, however, your dentist can provide mild sedation prior to the procedure in order to make things more comfortable. As for the placement itself, all that typically needs to be done beforehand is a small injection of localized anesthetic into the gumline. Your dentist can also apply some topical numbing jelly to the area in question in order to make the injection more comfortable. It is also worth noting that, prior to the procedure, your dentist must obtain imprints and measurements of your mouth. Bridges are custom-made to maximize fit and comfort.  Patients are typically told to bite down on a soft piece of foam to create an imprint of their bite.  Your dentist may place temporary crowns in your mouth while you wait for your crowns to be created, and then those temporary crowns will be removed during the placement of your customized dental bridge.

Pain Level During and After the Procedure

The local anesthetic applied prior to the procedure should negate any sharp pains. Patients may feel some discomfort due to having to keep their mouth open for several hours, but an ice pack or over-the-counter pain relievers can typically overcome any soreness.  


There is minimal recovery involved after having a dental bridge placed. In fact, patients can usually eat as soon as the bridge has been put in. If the dental bridge does happen to cause any pain or discomfort then your dentist can perform an adjustment.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges provide a simple solution to restoring one’s smile and eliminating discomfort in one’s teeth. If you have any problems chewing, eating, or even feel as though your speech is impacted because of a missing tooth, then a replacement tooth can solve the issue. Don’t let a missing or damaged tooth affect your smile or your mouth’s overall health. If your dentist recommends a dental bridge to you then you can be sure that it is an effective solution.

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