What Is A Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements that help maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth. With dental bridges, your dentist can close the gaps in your teeth to improve your smile. The bridge is kept in place by the abutment teeth on the sides of the gap. Most bridges are made of either porcelain or gold to naturally blend in with your other teeth. A dental bridge can be used to:
- Restore an attractive smile
- Reduce the risk of gum disease
- Restore the ability to bite and chew
- Improve speech
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Types of Restorative Dentistry
There are three main types of bridges. Traditional bridges, also known as fixed bridges, are used to replace one or more missing teeth. The procedure involves creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic, or a false tooth, in between. Fixed bridges are the most common type of dental bridges and are either made out of porcelain fused to metal or out of ceramics. Depending on the patient, bridges are sometimes a better alternative to implant replacement. Dr. Oshetski is an expert in implant and restorative dentistry and can advise which replacement is best for you.
“I have been so happy with Dr. Oshetski. He has listened to my concerns and helped me understand what needs to be done. It is so important to be able to communicate with your dentist and he excels at it. His staff are all upbeat and thorough. I cannot say enough about this practice. The office is beautiful and comfortable. I have had some difficulties with other dentists in the past- finally I feel positive about the dental experience- Thank you Dr. Oshetski and staff!” -Andrea
The Dental Bridge Procedure
There are several steps that are taken in order to create a dental bridge:
The adjacent teeth must be prepared. This involves removing some of the enamel to allow room for the crown to be placed over them.
Impressions of the teeth are made. These will be sent to a laboratory so a bridge, a false tooth or pontic, and crowns can be created to fit the unique configuration of the patient’s mouth. During the 2 to 3 weeks while the bridge is being manufactured, the patient will be given a temporary dental bridge to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
During the next dental visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and replaced with the new, permanent bridge. The doctor will make sure the bridge fits properly and cement it to the teeth.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
With good oral hygiene, a dental bridge will last from many years. Patients must remember to practice proper hygiene practices to prevent the build-up of bacteria and formation of plaque. Regular dental visits and excellent hygiene will ensure your bridge last for many years. Our dental hygienist will work with you to ensure you are adequately cleaning the bridge and reaching the undersurface, the most common place for cavities to start.