If you have missing teeth, it may be a source of embarrassment or low self-esteem. Fortunately, there are ways to fix this issue, such as through dental bridges. A bridge can be an effective solution to help restore your smile, giving you back the confidence you want in your smile.
What Is A Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a prosthesis that spans the distance between missing teeth. It is made up of crowns, on either side of the gap, which act as the anchoring teeth (also known as abutment teeth) and hold the false teeth (also known as pontics) in place between them. The false teeth can be made from a number of different materials such as gold, porcelain, alloys, or a combination of these materials. All dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or dental implants.
Dental bridges can be an effective way to not only restore your smile and maintain the shape of your face, but also to restore your ability to chew and speak properly. They can also help prevent your remaining teeth from moving out of position and to evenly distribute force as you bite or chew.
How The Procedure Works
After you and your dentist have decided that a dental bridge is the best option to replace your missing tooth or teeth, you will need to select the material that works for your specific needs. The material selected will depend on factors such as where in the mouth the dental bridge will be implanted and your dental insurance coverage. X-rays of the affected area will be taken to plan for the best restoration, and depending on the extent of your missing teeth, you may need bridges of three or more units.
At the first visit, the abutment teeth needed to anchor the bridge will be prepared. This involves recontouring them by removing some of the enamel to allow room for a crown to be fitted over them. Next, impressions of the teeth are made and sent off to a dental lab to serve as molds used to prepare the bridge, pontics, and crowns. Your dentist may make a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums until your bridge is being prepared.
When your bridge is ready, the temporary bridge will be removed. The new bridge will be fitted, checked, and adjusted to ensure it is comfortable and fitted correctly. Some patients will require multiple visits for adjustments to check the proper fit of the framework and to ensure the bite is correct. If you are having a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily put the bridge in place to ensure it is fitting correctly before cementing it permanently into place.
Depending on the dental bridge you go for, with regular oral exams and good oral hygiene, it can last for 10 years or more. Tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease can lead to tooth loss, so it is important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong to prolong the life of your bridge and to provide a strong foundation for the surrounding teeth to support the bridge.
Comprehensive Dental Care in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
At Hagerman Dental Care, we offer advanced, personalized care to patients in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Whether you need a routine cleaning, restorative work, or a cosmetic smile makeover, Dr. Hagerman can help.
If you would like to find out more about our restorative dental procedures or would like to schedule an appointment, call our office today at (651) 646-2392 or use our online appointment request form.