A Dental Bridge is a Worthwhile Investment for People with Missing Teeth
A dental bridge can be used to replace a single missing tooth or several adjacent teeth. Other arrangements can also be created. For example, if one tooth is still present, but the two teeth surrounding it are absent, the device can be used to fill in the gaps. The bridge is also referred to as a fixed partial denture.
Partials are ordered by dentists and created by technicians. In years past, all partials were ordered. It usually took some time for them to be returned to the dentist’s office. Today, some dentists have laboratories on site. This reduces the wait time for patients, which is often important.
In order to prepare the surrounding teeth to hold the partial, they must be reduced in size. The size reduction is necessary to avoid changing the alignment and bite patterns of the remaining teeth.
Dentists must decide whether or not the surrounding teeth and their roots are strong enough to support the partial. They use a formula called Ante’s rule for that purpose. The formula includes measurements of each surface of the tooth or teeth that will be used to hold the bridge in place.
Bridges may be composed of a variety of materials including gold, porcelain fixed to metal and plastic resins. The weight of the material used is a factor used to determine how much the adjoining teeth will be reduced and how strong the root system must be to support the partial.
Once the device has been completed and the fitting has been checked by the dentist, patients are advised concerning proper care and cleaning. Because there are small gaps between the bottom of the partial and the top of the gums, the device must be removed frequently in order to remove food particles that can become trapped under it.
Most people remove their dental bridges and clean under them at the same time they are brushing their teeth; after meals and snacks. Food particles trapped beneath the partial can be painful. It is sometimes necessary to interrupt the meal to clear away the debris.
The cost of partials varies depending on the materials used, the number of teeth to be replaced and a number of other factors. Even the location you live in will have an effect on the price you pay.
Some insurance plans will cover dental bridges, as long as it is not solely for cosmetic purposes. Most dentists are aware of the coverage provided by insurance plans and many offer payment plans for uninsured patients. Most patients feel that their bridges were well worth the price.