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"What is a dental bridge?"
I'm a 42 year old male and my dentist suggested we replace some of the gaps in my teeth with a dental bridge. What are the benefits to these, and what exactly are they like? How do you keep them in?
The exact answer to your question depends a bit on what your tooth anatomy is like. You should talk with your dentist to get a precise answer to your question. In general, a dental bridge is an appliance that is used to "fill in" gaps in the teeth, usually from loss of one or more teeth. In the most common form of a dental bridge, the teeth on either side of the gap are converted to crowns (teeth that are trimmed down and capped with a porcelain tooth replacement). The gap is then filled in with a third false tooth that is essentially cemented to the crowns on either side. The benefits of this are cosmetic, as they improve the smile by filling in the previous gap between the teeth. Since this type of bridge is cemented in, there is no need to remove it at any point. There are other types of bridges that are more complete, for example in the case that the teeth on either side of the gap are also not in good shape or are not candidates for crowns, but your dentist will be able to discuss those options with you if they are relevant to your case.
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