Are Dental Bridges Considered Prosthodontics?

Prosthodontics Somerville, MA

The branch of dentistry that deals with tooth restoration is prosthodontics. It includes treatments to repair teeth that are damaged as well as to replace teeth that are missing. A dental bridge fills in the gap left behind by one or more missing teeth. Therefore, it is considered to be part of prosthodontics.

How do dental bridges work?

There are different types of bridges, but most require that the gap have two healthy teeth on either side. These are abutment teeth that support the false tooth or teeth, also referred to as a pontic. In a Maryland bonded bridge, the pontic is supported by metal wings that are cemented to the insides of the abutment teeth. With a traditional bridge, the pontic is supported by two crowns that go over the abutment teeth.

Before you can receive a bridge, the dentist takes an impression of your bite. The impression is typically sent to a lab where the bridge is manufactured. When the bridge is ready, which may take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, it is cemented into place. Dental bridges are usually made out of porcelain to match the appearance of natural teeth as closely as possible, but they can also be made out of other materials, such as metal.

What are the pros and cons of dental bridges?

Among prosthodontics, dental bridges offer advantages as well as disadvantages.

Pros

There are several different types of dental bridges available. Some are only recommended for certain parts of the mouth, while others can go anywhere. When you have options, you can choose the treatment that you feel is most appropriate. Dental bridges can replace up to four teeth at a time, as long as the lost teeth were adjacent to one another. An implant-supported bridge does not require healthy abutment teeth on the sides to support the bridge.

A dental bridge prevents the remaining teeth from shifting in the jaw, which can cause bite problems and other issues in the future. By filling in the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth, a bridge can improve chewing ability and provide strength so that you can enjoy your favorite foods again. Depending on the type of bridge you get, it can be relatively inexpensive compared to other prosthodontics.

Cons

When a dental bridge is supported by crowns, the abutment teeth have to be altered to fit them. This involves permanently removing some healthy tooth enamel. A bridge is only expected to last about five to 15 years, after which time it needs to be replaced. Maintaining good oral hygiene, including regular dentist visits, helps a bridge to last longer. During the life of the bridge, it may need to be re-cemented or adjusted occasionally. Because bridges need to be replaced periodically, they may end up costing more in the long run than some other prosthodontics.

Conclusion

Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with restoring missing or damaged teeth. A dental bridge is a prosthodontic treatment because it replaces one or more teeth that were lost or extracted.

Request an appointment here: https://somervilledentist.com or call Assembly Dental at (857) 300-5779 for an appointment in our Somerville office.

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