"I Need To Replace My Tooth. What Should I Do?"
Bridges have been used to restore missing teeth to patients for years and remain one of the most popular and cost-effective approaches for the restoration of missing teeth. The term ‘bridge’ comes from the way this prosthetic is created and held in place. On either side of the space where the missing teeth used to be, the remaining teeth are filed down and used as mounting points for the bridge. These two mounting points are used to secure the bridge, which consists of two crowns and the prosthetic for the missing teeth. Two styles of bridges exist, with one being able to be removed for cleaning by the patient, and the other only being removed during dental visits for cleaning by the hygienist. Another name for bridges is ‘fixed partial denture’ due to their semi-permanent nature.
Crowns and bridges are both available in a variety of materials, including metal, porcelain bonded metal, and porcelain. Porcelain crowns and bridges mimic the appearance of natural teeth nearly perfectly, the material’s translucent nature bearing a striking resemblance to enamel. Porcelain bonded metal shares this trait, though there is a risk of the porcelain chipping away from the metal. This style also occasionally has the metal base visible near the gum line.
The Dental Bridge Treatment Process and What to Expect
Your First Appointment
- We will be taking pictures of the area for assessment to determine the right shape and color for your tooth.
- You will consult with one of our dentists about your aesthetic goals.
- We will administer local anesthesia around the surrounding teeth to prepare for your dental bridge and a temporary bridge will be placed for protection while the bridge framework is being created by our dental lab.
Your Second Appointment
- We will remove the temporary bridge and try on the framework to make it is functioning properly. We will make sure it is comfortable for you at this time.
- A new impression will be taken and sent back to our dental lab for the final ceramic application.
Your Final Appointment
- The final ceramic bridge will be bonded into place and we will check at this time for function and aesthetics.
Caring For Your Bridge
Proper care will guarantee that your dental bridge lasts a long time. With proper care, these can last over 25 years.
- Schedule regular dentist exams (every 6 months)
- Proper dental hygiene
- Yearly dental X-ray to ensure bridge health
- Always clean between the teeth and around the bridge.