Dental bridges are tooth restorations that can be used to replace missing teeth. They are an excellent alternative to dentures and dental implants; they provide more stability than dentures and the procedure is less invasive then the placement of dental implants. Talk to a dentist to find out if the dental bridges treatment is right for you.
Dental Bridge Candidates
Dental bridges are a safe and effective treatment option for people that have lost some of their teeth. However, the procedure is not appropriate for all patients with missing teeth. Bridges can only be used to replace a span of one to three teeth, and the natural teeth on either side of the gap must be healthy enough to support the placement of the dental crowns and attached bridge.
Preparation of Surrounding Teeth
Bridges consist of a replacement restoration, which is fabricated to look like a natural tooth and blend in with the patient's surrounding teeth. The replacement tooth is attached to crowns that are placed over the patient's natural teeth. During your first treatment appointment, your dentist will inject Novocain into the affected area to numb your teeth and gums and make you feel more comfortable during treatment. The dentist will sculpt down the teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth. Once the teeth have been sufficiently prepped, a mold, or impression, is taken and sent to a dental laboratory where specialists can custom make your bridge and the crown restorations. Finally, temporary crowns and a bridge will be placed to protect your teeth and gums from further damage.
Placement of Crowns and Bridge
Most patients will return to the dentist about a week after their initial appointment to have the permanent restorations placed. Your dentist will use cement or a bonding solution to hold the crowns and bridge in place, then polish the cusps of the restorations to provide you with a comfortable bite.
Dental Bridge Aftercare
It is important to take proper care of your dental bridge to extend its life and maintain the health of your gums and natural teeth. Daily brushing and flossing, in addition to regularly scheduled dental exams, will keep your dental bridge and oral health in top condition. With proper care, porcelain dental bridges will last five to seven years and, in some cases, longer. Metal restorations typically last longer than porcelain replacements; you can expect metal bridgework to last 10 to 15 years.
Dental Bridge Repairs
If your dental bridge is in need of repair, it is recommended that you visit a dentist as soon as possible to fix the problem. Delaying repairs may negatively affect your bite, cause gingival discomfort or infection, or create other serious dental heath issues that could require additional treatment.
Contact a Restorative Dentist
Contact a local dentist to find out if you are a good candidate for dental bridges. DocShop.com presents patients with a convenient, one-stop solution, offering information on a variety of medical and dental procedures in addition to a vast directory of experienced local dentists.