Missing teeth are more than just a cosmetic issue. Your mouth is designed to chew food properly and assist with speech. If you’re missing teeth, you know how significantly it can impact your life. A dental bridge might be the perfect solution.
First Dental Center in Tucson, Arizona offers dental bridges as well as many other dental services to improve your dental health. Here’s what you need to know about dental bridges before you book your appointment.
What is a Dental Bridge?
If you have one or more missing teeth, a dental bridge can fill the empty spaces those teeth left behind. A dental bridge is a great option for people who have a significant amount of remaining healthy teeth. There’s no need to pull healthy teeth to make room for a denture when a bridge can serve the same purpose in a less invasive way.
False teeth fill the gaps in your mouth to restore your bite and your smile. Crowns are attached to your healthy teeth with a special type of permanent dental cement, and the false teeth are attached to the crowns.
Do I Need a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are a valuable solution for anyone with at least one missing tooth. As long as the surrounding teeth are healthy, it’s possible to use a dental bridge to close the gap between your teeth.
Dental bridges can be used to replace teeth that are missing for any reason. They’re commonly used to replace teeth that were lost in accidents or due to injuries. They can also be used to replace teeth that were lost to decay or severe gum disease.
If you get a bridge to replace a tooth lost to decay or disease, it’s important to get your mouth healthy again. The bridge will replace the teeth you’ve lost, but it won’t prevent you from losing more teeth. We’ll help you establish an oral health plan and manage gum disease.
What Are The Different Types of Dental Bridges?
There are different types of dental bridges. Each type of bridge is suited to a specific concern. After your dental examination, we’ll discuss your options with you. Most of the time, a traditional dental bridge is the best option.
Traditional Dental Bridges
A traditional dental bridge connects false teeth (called pontics) to healthy teeth with bridges. These types of bridges are usually made of metal and porcelain. Traditional bridges can be used to seamlessly replace one missing tooth or several consecutive missing teeth.
A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, but it’s only bonded to one healthy tooth. These types of bridges are used when there aren’t healthy teeth on either side of the gap. They’re used almost exclusively to replace teeth in the back of the mouth.
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What Happens When You Get a Dental Bridge?
A lot of people get jittery before they go to the dentist. Dental bridges are a very common procedure and are in competent caring hands. The process usually takes more than one appointment to complete. Simple bridges can be completed in as little as two appointments.
The first step of the process is preparing the teeth the bridge will adhere to. These teeth need to be reshaped so a crown will fit over them. A part of each tooth will be removed so impressions can be taken.
These impressions will be used to create your crowns and your bridge. The crowns and the false teeth need to be properly fitted to comfortably close the gap and restore your bite. They also need to be matched in color to your surrounding natural teeth.
The gap in your mouth will be fitted with a temporary bridge. This will allow you to eat and drink most foods. Avoid hard foods or foods that stick in your teeth. The cement that holds a temporary bridge is strong enough to stay in place, but it won’t be as strong as the cement used to place your permanent bridge.
After the dental lab creates your permanent bridge, you’ll come in for another appointment. The temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent bridge will be in place. After that, you can eat as you normally would. It’s still wise to avoid very hard or crunchy foods that can potentially damage your bridge or crowns. You want them to last as long as possible.
How Do You Care for a Dental Bridge?
Unlike dentures, bridges are cemented in place. They’ll always be in your mouth. You can brush them and care for them the same way you’d care for a natural tooth. Just be wary of whitening products. They’ll only work on natural teeth, leaving your bridge teeth a different shade. This will make your bridge extremely noticeable.
If you take excellent care of your teeth and gums, your dental bridge can last as long as ten years. Don’t skip your dental checkups, and always follow your dentist’s advice.
Are There Alternatives to Dental Bridges?
Dentures are only necessary when all or most of the teeth in your mouth cannot be repaired or restored. The goal is always to protect your natural teeth and keep them healthy.
Dental implants can sometimes be a valuable alternative to bridges. Implants are a slightly more extensive procedure and can be more costly. In some cases, dental implants can be used in conjunction with bridges.
Not everyone will be an ideal candidate for dental implants. If you’re interested in dental implants, we’ll be happy to discuss options with you at your next dental appointment.
Schedule Your Appointment for a Dental Bridge
The first step in restoring your smile begins with a dental examination. Dr. Kimberly Yang at First Dental Center in Tucson, Arizona can help you restore the health of your mouth. Book an appointment with Dr. Yang to discuss your treatment plan. You’re only a phone call away from a better smile.