Dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth by attaching artificial teeth to the abutment teeth which are adjacent to the gap. These abutment teeth will be fitted with crowns that are bonded in place and will act as support for the artificial tooth that will be placed in between them.
While dental bridges are an excellent replacement for missing teeth, they need to be treated with proper care to avoid running into problems such as damage to the bridge, decay, a loose fit, and an unnatural appearance. Read on to learn more about dental bridges and how you can maintain them so you don’t run into these problems.
A dental bridge is a prosthetic used to fill gaps in the teeth where you have lost natural teeth. A dental bridge is attached to your natural teeth on either side of the gap in your teeth. They can be made from various materials, such as zirconia, porcelain, metal, and some combinations of these materials.
Dental bridges are used in place of dentures for a more permanent tooth replacement. However, a requirement for dental bridges is that you have natural and healthy teeth adjacent to the gap, which is what the bridge attaches to.
You need to be in good oral health to have a dental bridge inserted. The first appointment will consist of an oral exam to check that you are cavity and gum disease-free. X-rays may be taken to get a closer look at your teeth and more precise measurements.
The preparation for a bridge involves filing down your natural teeth which are adjacent to the gap. This is so they can be fitted with crowns. This will remove between 70-80% of the tooth’s natural structure. This step ensures that your bridge will fit properly in the mouth and everything will be uniform.
Impressions will then be taken of your teeth and sent to an outside dental lab, where they will use the impressions to create a mold that perfectly matches your real teeth. While you wait for the permanent bridge, a temporary one will be placed so your teeth don’t become damaged and you won’t have difficulty eating.
Within 2-3 weeks, your dental bridge will be ready, but it may need to be adjusted a few times. We will closely monitor how you feel wearing the bridge and strive to get the best fit possible. If the bridge is the perfect fit, all that’s left to do is cement it into place.
Ill-fitting bridges: The reason we offer multiple adjustments to your permanent bridge to ensure it fits properly is that bridges need to fit in your mouth perfectly to avoid problems. An ill-fitting bridge is at risk of falling off, discomfort or causing irritation. This is why it’s important to go to a highly reputable and experienced dentist with a demonstrated expertise in dental bridges.
Tooth decay: The abutment teeth which are secured by crowns are at risk for developing decay because it can be difficult to thoroughly clean them. While you need to brush and floss every day as you regularly would, special tools are required to clean underneath the bridge so food particles don't accumulate and lead to plaque and tartar buildup.
If these teeth begin to decay, the bridge will no longer be secure and it will need to be replaced. To avoid this, ensure you have healthy teeth before getting dental bridges, practice excellent oral hygiene every day for all of your teeth, and use special tools to clean underneath your bridge.
Unnatural appearance or feel: Make sure you go to a dentist who takes impressions of your teeth to create a mold that matches the shape, size, and color of your teeth. A big reason that people invest in dental bridges is to boost their confidence and for the artificial teeth to look like natural teeth.
Some steps that can be taken to improve the appearance of dental bridges include gum contouring and teeth whitening to get your natural teeth to match your dental bridge.
Damage to the bridge: While dental bridges are a great option to fill in gaps in the teeth and restore most of your tooth function, they are more susceptible to damage than your natural teeth. When you get a dental bridge, you will need to take precautions when eating to avoid damaging your artificial teeth.
These include avoiding hard or sticky foods, chewing slowly, and being careful when eating. The bridges can be made of materials such as porcelain, which is susceptible to chipping and cracking. If your dental bridge becomes damaged, it will need to be replaced.
Dental bridges can last for up to 15 years with proper care. If you’re ready to replace missing teeth and restore your smile, then contact us at Whittier Palm Dental online or call (323) 721-7153.
Dr. Jelani Winslow is an extremely experienced dentist who will create the perfect fitting dental bridge. Schedule a consultation to find out if you’d be a good candidate for dental bridges.
If you’re looking for a new dentist in Montebello, we’ve made it easier to choose us! Whittier Palm Dental is offering new patients a prophylaxis cleaning, an exam, and x-rays for only $99. It’s perfect for patients without periodontal disease who don’t plan to use insurance, and it includes everything you need to get started on your journey to exceptional oral health. Give us a call at (323) 721-7153 and ask about our $99 new patient special today!