Dental bridges are traditional – but brilliant.
Despite being around for so long, dental bridges are still doing the business today when it comes to replacing a gap in your smile.
One of the great things about Christmas in Ireland is that most of us get to enjoy the guts of a two-week break. And after the mince pies have been finished and the final toast has been drunk to Christmas, we often find ourselves with a bit of time on our hands – and in the mood to carry out a bit of productive work on the home front.
That’s why we found ourselves in the attic over the Christmas period. We had long promised ourselves that we would clean it out once and for all, so the few lazy days over the holiday season seemed the perfect time to get the job done.
As to why the attic was so full, it's because we’re terrible hoarders at heart. There were old magazines and newspapers by the dozen, even though we were never going to read them again.
There were also bags upon bags of old clothes. We suspect that these were ‘preserved’ just in case we ever lost two stone and could fit into them again!
Another popular ‘category’ we came across in the attic was technology. There were old radios, old CD players, even our very first laptop computer. And here’s the thing – most of them would work fine today, but had been overtaken to some degree by newer and slicker technology.
This set us thinking about dental technology, and how some ‘elderly’ dental treatments are still doing a brilliant job today, even though there may be newer and more contemporary treatments available on the market.
We’re thinking of dental bridges (also known as tooth bridges). This is a form of dental treatment that has been filling in gaps in smiles for generations. So why is it still around today? Well simply because it's a brilliantly simple idea that has stood the test of time, and that is still being called on by dentists all over the world.
A tooth bridge is a simple scaffolding structure between the two teeth on either side of the gap. Onto this scaffold, your dentist attaches a fabricated tooth, which I kept permanently on place by the bridge. In other words, it's not like a denture which can be taken out at will – for cleaning purposes, etc.
Because it's been around for so long, it's inevitable that a number of different types of bridges will have been devised – to suit different situations and different mouth-shapes.
The traditional bridge, for example, is mainly made of ceramics, although you’ll also find porcelain alternatives out there. More complex than this is the cantilever bridge, which is used when there is a tooth to one side of the gap, but not on the other side.
And finally, the Maryland bridge is quite an elaborate form of structure which is used to keep a fabricated tooth snugly in place – with no loss of functional performance.
You don't really need to concern yourself too much with the different options, as your dentist will know which one will suit you best. And whichever option he suggests, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable the treatment is – and what great value it represents when you consider that you’ll be sorting the problem of a missing tooth permanently.
If you would like a little more reading material on this topic, may we recommend the following - http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-bridges#2