Dental bridges have long been used as a replacement for teeth that have fallen out or been extracted due to decay or damage. Conventional bridges work by filling the gap left with a prosthetic tooth, which is then secured onto metal framework. On either side of this framework is a couple of dental crowns. These are placed over the teeth on each side of the gap, known as abutment teeth, helping to give the bridge security and stability. However, over time, the pressure that is exerted on these abutment teeth can cause them to become damaged or even loose. In the past, the prosthetic teeth were created from porcelain, but today, an acrylic option is also available.
An acrylic dental bridge uses the same design, but parts or all of the device are made from acrylic. Acrylic is a fairly cheap material, meaning that the cost of your bridge may be less than some alternatives. It is also lighter, meaning that some patients find wearing an acrylic bridge fairly comfortable. However, this type of material has been known to absorb colors, odors and bacteria from the food and drink that we consume, meaning that the appearance of acrylic bridges can quickly diminish.
How is an acrylic bridge done?
An acrylic dental bridge is done in the same way as a regular dental bridge. It is just created using a different material. The abutment teeth are prepared to accept the supporting crowns, which usually means filing them down so that the crowns can sit over the top. Impressions are then taken which will be used to create the crowns and the artificial tooth, helping to ensure that they are the right shape and size and look as natural as possible. In the meantime, you will be fitted with temporary crowns while your permanent ones are being created.
Once the permanent crowns are ready, you will return to your dentist’s office to have them, along with the rest of the bridge, fitted. This process is fairly straightforward, and your dentist will ensure that your new acrylic bridge is a good fit before you leave.
How long can I expect my acrylic dental bridge to last?
With proper care and regular professional attention, an 100% acrylic dental bridge can be expected to last up to 2 years before a replacement is required. However, if you opt for an acrylic bridge that has a metal framework, this extends to between 5 and 8 years.
When the time comes for a replacement, a straightforward and inexpensive resurfacing procedure is normally sufficient for the latter variety. This involves retaining the original metal framework and simply adding new acrylic teeth to it. However, since 100% acrylic bridges are fairly fragile and not known for their longevity, a total replacement will almost certainly be necessary.
In fact, most experienced dentists recognize the limitations of acrylic bridges, and usually only recommend them as a temporary option until a more permanent solution can be placed. An increasing number are now advocating zirconia bridges as an alternative, since zirconia has been shown to be more durable and long-lasting, and more resistant to staining.
If you are considering an acrylic dental bridge but aren’t sure if this is the right solution for the gap in your smile, our experienced and knowledgeable team would be happy to discuss your individual circumstances and help you find the perfect, long-lasting restoration for your smile. Contact our Palm Beach Gardens, FL office today.