Crowns & Bridges
If you have one or more missing teeth, dental bridges can be the perfect fix. Dental bridges are a fixed solution, meaning they are cemented onto the supporting teeth or onto a dental implant that has been placed next to the missing teeth.
Importance of Replacing the Missing Teeth
Replacing missing teeth can significantly improve your chewing and speaking abilities, as well as your appearance. Furthermore, gaps in your teeth may cause nearby teeth to shift, leading to a misalignment in your bite and issues with your jaw joint. This misalignment can also make it more difficult to clean your teeth, increasing the chances of gum disease, tooth decay, and further tooth loss.
The Dental Bridge Treatment
For the bridge procedure, your dentist will typically require two or more visits. During the first visit, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth will be prepared to make room for crowns that will fit over them, as these crowns will serve as anchors for the pontic, the replacement tooth. An impression of the supporting teeth will be taken to create a custom-fit bridge at a dental laboratory. To protect the supporting teeth and prevent shifting, a temporary bridge will be put in place. At the second visit, the permanent bridge will be placed and adjusted for a proper fit and function. If the fit is deemed satisfactory, it will be permanently cemented in place.
Dental Bridge Post Treatment Expectations
After the bridge is in place, you may feel some temporary discomfort, such as aching when you bite down or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. Your dentist may suggest taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (like Advil), to help relieve the discomfort. If the discomfort lasts longer than a few days, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist to get checked out.
Cleaning Your Dental Bridge
The longevity of your dental bridge is impacted by numerous factors, such as the quality of the materials used, your oral hygiene, diet, and the condition of your remaining teeth and gums. It is important to consult with your dentist for advice on how to properly brush and floss to ensure the health of your dental bridge and its supporting teeth.