A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years; however, they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.
Reasons for a fixed bridge:
Fill the space of missing teeth.
Maintain facial shape.
Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Restore chewing and speaking ability.
Restore your smile.
Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.
What does getting a fixed bridge involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
At the second visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.
What Happens After I Get My New Dental Bridge?
It is likely that your new bridge will feel a little strange at first within the mouth, but after a few days, it should start to seem like your natural teeth have been restored! We strongly recommend that patients maintain a diet of soft foods early on until they’ve reached this stage, after which they can enjoy all of their favorite meals with plenty of confidence.
Long-term missing teeth can result in damage to your oral health, your smile’s ability to function, and your overall quality of life. That’s why our Noelridge Dental team hopes to help you replace them as soon as possible. Please reach out to us today to schedule your first visit! You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.
How Long do Dental Bridges Last?
This depends largely on how well you take care of them — anywhere from five to fifteen years. A patient who gets regular dental checkups and maintains good oral hygiene habits is much more likely to keep their dental bridge in good condition for longer than ten years.
Caring For a Bridge
The success of the bridge depends on the solid foundation the surrounding teeth provide, so it’s critical to keep those teeth healthy. This means being diligent about brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. We will show you how to properly brush and floss with a bridge.
Regular cleaning appointments are important, not just because we can give you that professionally deep clean, but so that we can detect any emerging dental problems early. The earlier we catch a problem, the easier (and cheaper!) the solution will be.
Another factor that goes into caring for your dental bridge is what you eat. Once you grow accustomed to the bridge, you can go back to eating the foods you enjoy, for the most part. However, some types of food present more of a problem for dental bridges and we recommend avoiding them longterm:
- Chewy or sticky candy can easily pull the crowns off the anchor teeth.
- Hard candy or snacks like popcorn or nuts can damage the bridge.
- Sugary foods increase the risk of tooth decay under the crowns.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
Not everyone with missing permanent teeth is a good candidate for a dental bridge. The factors we’re looking for include:
- Missing one or more permanent teeth in a row on the same arch.
- Good overall health (meaning no severe health conditions or infections)
- The remaining teeth are healthy, with a strong bone structure that will support the bridge.
- Good oral health.
- Keeping up with oral hygiene habits.
If you think a dental bridge might be the smile solution you’ve been looking for, get in touch with us to set up an appointment. We can determine if you’re a good candidate and get started on restoring your smile! Just make sure to check the map for directions to our practice!