What are Dental Bridges and How Do They Work?
A dental bridge “is a custom-made replacement tooth or teeth that fill the space where one or more teeth are missing. This bridge retains the natural shape of your face.”
Why would someone need a bridge?
Sometimes due to an injury or poor oral hygiene, teeth can be lost. A missing tooth will give an unsightly gap that could be more than a cosmetic concern.
Other benefits of Dental Bridges
- A simple and minimal procedure that can enhance the look of your teeth
- It improves speech that can be affected by missing teeth
- It eliminates problems you might experience when you’re eating
A missing tooth can cause a host of problems, as teeth are made to work together. A missing tooth is a serious matter. With a missing tooth, there is space leading to tilting surrounding teeth, change in shape of the facial jawline and also stress on the remaining teeth causing pain and damage. The other risks associated with missing teeth are:
- Putting other teeth at higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
- The bone may shrink making the face look older.
- You could also experience pain when chewing or discomfort in your jaw.
Understanding how a bridge works
Let’s look at how a bridge is placed…
Typically, the dentist makes use of the existing natural teeth on both sides of your missing tooth (or teeth) to help hold your bridge in place. The bridge gives a natural appearance while helping to restore the tooth.
The dentist usually checks the teeth on both sides of the gap that needs the bridge. By taking an impression of the teeth or the gap, the same is sent to the dental lab for making the bridge. Most often, a temporary bridge is placed until the permanent bridge is ready. Once the permanent bridge is ready, the dentist fits it in the gap and adjusts the same with cement if need be, the bridge here is permanent and can be taken out only by a dental expert.
Types of bridges | The options available
- Bridges are made from metal, ceramics, or a combination of the two. Looking at individual cases, requirements and budget involved the dentist will discuss the various options and suggest the best for you.
- A traditional bridge makes use of fake teeth held in place with crowns that are cemented to the teeth surrounding the tooth that is missing.
- Yet, another option is a cantilever bridge. Here, it is supported by a crown on only one side.
- Other options include using porcelain or metal framework to hold the fake tooth in place.
- The final type is an implant-supported bridge. Many times, dental implants may be used to support a bridge. The implants are surgically placed in the jaw and bone helps hold the implants in place.
Caring for your bridge
A bridge can fail if the support teeth or the jawbone is damaged by dental disease. Here are a few tips that will help you in marinating proper dental care:
- Using a floss threader
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day.
- Make sure you clean between your teeth and under the bridge.
- Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings.
- Consume a proper, healthy diet.
Other important notes
The procedure is not surgical, and if need be, a topical numbing jelly can be placed on your gums to minimize the discomfort of the shot. There could be some discomfort or soreness in your jaw that can be tackled with over-the-counter pain relievers. Placing an ice pack on the outside of your jaw will help too!
The recovery process is simple and minimal, to say the least. Most patients have no trouble adapting to the bridge, so you can eat normally soon after. For any discomfort, the dentist can fix by performing an adjustment.
We at Bellevue Dental Health believe that a beautiful and healthy smile helps build the foundation for overall dental health and confidence. So it is important to take charge of your smile and our team will offer their best care to achieve what you desire for your smile.
Discover how dental bridges will enhance your appearance and self-confidence with us!
Schedule an appointment today by calling (425)641-3311 or by visiting https://www.bellevuedentalhealth.com/