Losing a tooth can be an unpleasant experience, and can create an unwanted gap between your remaining teeth. But not to worry! The good news is that a dental bridge can help restore the natural shape of your face, your bite, and your smile!
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge fills the space where a tooth or teeth are missing. A common bridge design involves placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. These crowns are connected to the false ‘filler’ tooth or teeth that complete the gap. This restoration is then permanently bonded into place, so you never have to remove it. In some cases, dental implants may also be used to support a bridge, if healthy teeth are not in the correct position.
Why are Dental Bridges important?
If you lose a tooth, the teeth nearby may drift or tilt into the empty space. This can greatly affect your bite by putting undue stress on your teeth and jaws, sometimes causing pain. Teeth that have drifted can also be harder to clean, causing potential problems related to your gum tissue, as well as tooth decay. When a tooth is absent, the bone can also shrink. This can affect the way that the jawbone supports the cheeks, changing your overall facial appearance. For these reasons, it is very important to replace a missing tooth or teeth!
What can I expect during treatment?
A dental bridge is created and fitted over the course of a few appointments. First, the area is carefully examined for any problems or issues that might require additional treatment. The teeth on either side of the gap are then prepared for crowns that fit over the top of the tooth. Of course, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed during this process. An impression is then made in order to create an exact fit for your bridge. You’ll be given a temporary one while your final bridge is being made.
Once the bridge is ready, the temporary one is removed and the permanent one is checked for fit before it’s cemented in place. You might be required to come back for a third appointment to make sure the bridge is functioning properly and fits well inside the mouth.
Caring for your Dental Bridge
Dr. Schultz will give you specific care steps to make sure you get the most out of your dental bridge, since it’s very important to keep it clean and free of food or harmful materials. Dental bridges can last for many years with proper care and regular checkups to make sure your mouth and jaw receive it well.
If you think you might benefit from a dental bridge and would like to schedule an appointment to ask questions, contact us today for more information!
See our bridge smile gallery here.