Dental Bridges: Pros and Cons – By Yahaya Sulaiman

Dental Bridges are popular prosthetic-cosmetic solution if you have missing teeth...

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Dental Bridges are popular prosthetic-cosmetic solution if you have missing teeth. They usually consist of a pontic or full tooth in the centre with two crowns on either side which are supported on abutments or filed down teeth. Other variations exist but that depends on the nature of your condition. Before taking a decision on dental surgery arm yourself with information on the pros and cons.

Pros
Dental Bridges are made of a variety of material ranging from alloys of porcelain and metal to solid gold. These enhance your appearance and most people choose the ones that lookperfectly natural. The cosmetic dentist will give you a choice over the shade and colour of your bridge.

Speech
After surgery your speech is likely to improve as you will have the perfect denture. Dental bridges can be made for multiple missing teeth and last for a number of years. So you do not have to worry about losing your perfect diction ever.

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Biting
Dental Bridges are cemented in place so you can chew your food properly without having the trouble to take on/off the fake teeth. Since they function like your natural teeth you can bite anything you want without being concerned over sensitivity.

Form
Dental bridges are helpful in preventing other teeth from drifting out of position. They complete the structure and keep all of your teeth where they belong.

Cons
Dental Bridges are normally very expensive and even when insurance covers the cost of the surgery it will do so partially. The price also depends on the type of bridge you select. It is also advisable to consider possible post-surgery maintenance expenses.

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Hygiene
Dental bridges require strict levels of oral hygiene. If you are lazy about brushing, flossing and regular check-ups you are likely to end up with serious problems like foul breath and infections due to collection of food debris.

Trauma
In case of an accident you might severely damage your bridge and consequently the gums and other teeth. In such a case you might require root canal therapy.

Sensitivity
Normally your teeth will be sensitive for some weeks. In certain cases it might become a problem and you might end up at the dentist’s clinic more often than imagined.

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Cement Leakage
Although most dental bridges are held firmly together with either resin or different kinds of adhesives they might leak and cause more problems. This usually happens when the dental bridge is about to expire. This calls for emergency replacement.

Abutments
In preparation of the neighbouring teeth as abutments you will experience a permanent loss. They will have to be cut down to size so that crowns can rest on those. In case your dental bridge fails to perform you will be left with no choice but to wear crowns on the trimmed teeth.

Yahaya Suleiman President of Dental Technician Association of Nigeria, UMCHT Saminaka , Kaduna State.

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