Many adults suffer from tooth loss, most often due to periodontal disease, severe decay, or injury. When tooth loss occurs, prompt treatment is essential in order to avoid serious consequences, including significant bone loss. One way to restore missing teeth is through the use of a dental bridge. Dental bridges– which can either be fixed or removable partial dentures– are made to bridge the gap between missing teeth. Typically, crowns are made for the teeth on either side of the gap; these crowns serve as anchors for the bridge. Then, the artificial teeth are placed between the crowns. The anchoring teeth that support the bridge can be natural teeth or implants.
Benefits of dental bridges
Why should you consider getting a dental bridge to restore your smile? Consider the following benefits:
- Aesthetics. One of the most obvious benefits of a dental bridge is aesthetic. With missing teeth replaced, patients typically feel more confident about their smiles.
- Improved speech. Tooth loss and speech difficulties often go hand in hand. With a dental bridge, patients no longer have to worry about having difficulty speaking.
- Teeth stay in place. One consequence of tooth loss is that the remaining teeth typically shift over time. With a dental bridge in place, this shifting doesn’t occur.
- Eating with ease. Tooth loss can make eating certain types of food a challenge. With dental bridges– and particularly fixed bridges– patients can once again eat with ease.
The dental bridge process
Patients can expect the dental bridge process to take at least two visits– and sometimes a few more. During the first visit, the abutment teeth– or the anchoring teeth– are prepared through recontouring so that the necessary crowns can easily fit over them. Impressions of the teeth, which will be sent to a dental lab, are then made. While waiting for their permanent dental bridges to be completed, patients will be given temporary bridges to protect their teeth and gums in the interim.
During the second dental visit, the temporary bridge is removed. The new bridge is placed, allowing the dentist to check for a proper fit and make any necessary adjustments.
Caring for a dental bridge
With proper care, dental bridges typically last anywhere from five to fifteen years– and sometimes even more. Patients should practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouth wash. This ensures that the remaining teeth– which help support the bridge– stay healthy and free from decay. Additionally, it’s important for patients to visit their dentists for regularly scheduled check-ups and cleanings to ensure that any oral health concerns are caught and treated early.
Am I a good candidate for a dental bridge?
Patients will be pleased to learn that there are several treatment options when it comes to tooth replacement. Only your dentist can determine whether or not you’re an ideal candidate for a dental bridge. Typically, however, the best candidates for dental bridges are:
- Free from gum disease. It’s important that the mouth is relatively healthy when beginning the dental bridge process. Patients who are suffering from periodontal disease should have their gums treated before embarking on the bridge process.
- Missing between one and three teeth. Dental bridges are ideal for patients who are missing only a few teeth– between one and three typically. For patients missing several teeth, other replacement options might be recommended, such as full or partial dentures or dental implants.
It’s time to stop hiding your smile from the world! If you’re suffering from tooth loss, contact us today to determine the best course of treatment to restore your missing teeth. We look forward to hearing from you!Return to Blog