A dental bridge is a non-removable, fixed appliance that serves as a great way to replace your missing teeth. This restoration can be supported by your natural teeth, implants, or a combination of the two to improve your smile. Whether you have lost teeth due to trauma, gum disease, or infection, a dental bridge can improve the appearance of your smile while giving you back your ability to chew, eat, and speak.
There are a variety of different types of dental bridges available, and during your consultation, we will address the best options for your particular dental needs. The “traditional bridge” is arguably the most popular variety, and it is typically made out of porcelain that has been fused to metal. This bridge will consist of two crowns that are designed to fit over the abutment (or anchoring) teeth, and they are attached to either side of a Pontic (or artificial tooth). Once put into place, the bridge will fill in the gap created by one or more teeth that are missing.
Why might you need a dental bridge?
Dental bridges are important dental restorations when it comes to minimizing the effect and appearance of tooth loss, and bridges can be used for a variety of reasons:
|To maintain your facial shape after tooth loss
|To fill in the spaces left behind by missing teeth
|To prevent the remaining teeth from shifting out of their correct position
|To restore your smile to a natural appearance
|To restore your ability to speak and chew like normal
|To upgrade from a partial, removable denture to a more permanent and durable dental appliance
What happens during the dental bridge procedure?
Having your teeth fitted for a dental bridge will typically take at least two visits. During your first appointment, the abutment teeth will be prepared. This involves recontouring the teeth by taking off a portion of the enamel so that there is adequate room for a crown to be placed over the top of the teeth. Next, impressions of your teeth will be made, serving as a model from which the crowns and bridge can be created in a dental lab. We can also create a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed gums and teeth while your bridge is being formed.
During your follow-up appointment, we will remove your temporary bridge and the new metal or porcelain bridge will be fitted and adjusted, if needed, to achieve a good fit. If there are problems with the bite or metal framework, you may need to come in for several visits to make sure we get it right. In the case of a fixed bridge, we may temporarily cement it in place for a week or two to make sure that it fits correctly, and after some time it will be permanently cemented into place.
How should you care for your dental bridge?
A fixed bridge is a long-term solution to tooth loss, and the average bridge will last for 10–12 years before it needs to be replaced. Replacing a fixed bridge will often entail further treatments to the teeth, as the abutment or supporting teeth may have been compromised over time by dental diseases or cavities. We can help to correct these problems before we create your replacement bridge.
When caring for your dental bridge, it is important to make sure that you are keeping the rest of your teeth healthy, as the success of your bridge will require a strong foundation that is provided by the adjacent teeth. Make sure that you are brushing your teeth at least twice per day and flossing daily to prevent gum disease and tooth decay, as these conditions could result in tooth loss. We will give you tips on how to properly care for your teeth, and we will also set up a schedule for routine dental exams so that we can continue to monitor your bridge and the rest of your teeth.
Schedule your consultation today
Give us a call today at (971) 762-1262 to schedule your appointment to go over your dental bridge options.