Dental engineering at its best - with a dental bridge!
If you’re missing a tooth or two and want to restore your smile to its former glory, here’s how a dental bridge can do a fantastic job for you.
We had reason, over the past week or so, to visit the beautiful city of Belfast. The occasion? Rounding off the last week of the school holidays by taking the kids up to see the magnificent Titanic Exhibition.
We have to admit that we haven’t driven North in quite a while, so it came as a very pleasant surprise to come across the glorious Boyne Cable Bridge about halfway through our journey. It’s a magnificent structure – brilliant from an engineering perspective, but also a thing of very genuine beauty.
And typical of the nerd in us, it set us thinking about how we, as dentists, have ‘appropriated’ many great engineering principles over the decades.
The closest link between dentistry and engineering, of course, is the dental bridge. It’s a simple idea, but as in many walks of life, simple can mean ‘best’ and ‘most reliable’.
Okay, you’ve got me interested – but what exactly is a dental bridge?
Let’s imagine a situation where you’ve lost a tooth, and a crown treatment can’t be used as there’s nothing to attach a crown to. So here’s where the engineering element comes into play.
Your dentist builds a bridge across two neighbouring teeth, and now has a form of ‘scaffold’ in place which can accommodate the fitting of a crown. It’s a highly effective treatment, and one which will let you eat, chew, laugh and talk as normal – and nobody will see anything except totally natural looking teeth!
The bridge is fitted by your dentist, but is actually made in a laboratory by a highly qualified dental technician, working from an impression of your teeth and gums that your dentist has provided.
What does the fitting process involve?
Most of the structural support comes from the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth/teeth. Your dentist may sometimes refer to them as ‘abutment teeth’. The new tooth that fills the ‘gap’ is known as the pontic tooth. Pons, of course, is the Latin word for bridge (but we presume you already knew that!)
There are a number of important benefits of a dental bridge, the most notable of which are as follows:
• From a cosmetic point of view, it can restore a very natural-looking smile.
• Nobody will know you're wearing a bridge, unless you choose to tell them.
• It can prevent that awful hollow-cheeked appearance that often results from a missing tooth (or teeth).
• You can chew a steak, bite into an apple etc., all without having to worry that your bridge will let you down.
• A dental bridge can make sure that the teeth on either side of a gap don't move out of place – and compound the problem even further.
What does a dental bridge cost?
Based on the amount of work in fitting a dental bridge – including the input of a dental technician – you might be tempted to think that this is a very expensive form of treatment. That’s not the case, however.
A dental bridge is very affordable – especially if you choose to spread the cost over three, six or nine months through our 0% Dental Finance Plan. And remember that you're paying for a treatment that should comfortably last you a lifetime.
Want to know more about bridges?
Our friends over at Colgate have a nice, simple article on the topic on their website. You can check it out right here - http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/bridges-and-crowns/article/what-are-dental-crowns-and-tooth-bridges