dental implant cantilever bridge
In your numerous trips to your dentist, you must have come across the word cantilever bridge. A cantilever bridge is one of the most important tools of modern dentistry and it is a shame that most people don’t understand what it means or appreciate its significance in dentistry. This is why we decided to do a blog post on cantilever bridges and their significance in the dental industry.
So, what is a cantilever bridge? When is a cantilever bridge used to replace missing teeth? How is a cantilever bridge fitted? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a cantilever bridge? How should one take care of his or her cantilever bridge?
A cantilever bridge is a form of dental bridge that is used to replace multiple missing teeth. Unlike conventional dental bridges which attach to adjacent teeth on both ends, a cantilever bridge attaches to adjacent teeth on one end only. The other end which covers the space left by the missing teeth is left unattached.
The cantilever bridge is preferred when the dentist needs to replace multiple missing teeth in areas of the mouth that don’t incur as much pressure. This is because the bridge is attached to only one tooth and the resulting tooth is not as stable.
How is a cantilever bridge inserted?
As earlier on mentioned, a cantilever bridge is only attached to one anchor tooth. To achieve this, a dentist trims down the anchor tooth for the cantilever bridge to fit in. This is done in two visits to the dentist’s office.
In the first visit, the dentist will examine your mouth, take an impression of your mouth to see the state of your teeth and then trim down the anchor tooth which will support the cantilever bridge. The dentist will then fit a temporary bridge while he works on the permanent cantilever bridge which will be fitted later on.
In the second visit, the dentist will get rid of the temporary bridge and fit in the permanent cantilever bridge which has been made to replicate the look of your natural teeth. Any adjustments are then made to the permanent bridge before it is cemented into position.
How to maintain a cantilever bridge
To ensure that the bridge lasts for as long as possible, proper care and maintenance is needed. Thankfully, it requires nothing special to take good care of the cantilever bridge. Here are some of the ways you can maintain your cantilever bridge and ensure that it lasts for as long as possible;
Brush on a regular basis
Once you have a cantilever bridge in place, you will need to brush your teeth on a regular basis. Brushing teeth and the cantilever on a regular basis, helps get rid of any lodged food particles which can lead to infections and even the total loss of the cantilever bridge.
Floss after ever meal
Flossing after every meal helps to get rid of the food particles which are lodged in parts of the tooth that the toothbrush bristles can’t get to. This helps to stop any buildup of food particles which might prove to be costly in the end.
Avoid finger biting and chewing hard foods
One you have the cantilever bridge, you’ll need to desist from biting your fingers and chewing into extremely hard foods. Since the cantilever bridge is only anchored on one end, it is not very stable and chewing into very hard foods will only make it more unstable.
Advantages and disadvantages of the cantilever bridge
It looks and performs just like natural teeth. The bridge helps retain the aesthetic value of one’s teeth and this helps to boost one’s self confidence.
They are permanent and this makes them convenient. You don’t have to remove them every time you are having a meal or talking. They are very handy.
If well taken care of, these bridges are capable of lasting an entire lifetime. This makes them economical as no replacements are required along the way.
On the other hand, these cantilever bridges exert extra pressure on the anchor tooth and this can result in breakages in the anchoring tooth.
Because they are only anchored on one end, these bridges are not the most stable and cannot be used to replace molars and premolars.
The bottom line is that these cantilever bridges are both functionally and cosmetically satisfying and will give you full value for your money. They are able replacements for missing teeth and will serve you right for very many years.