What is a Dental Bridge?
A bridge is a fixed option to replace one or more missing teeth in a row. Having missing teeth can negatively affect speech, function, lip and bone support and aesthetics. The mouth is a dynamic place and when patients have missing teeth this can throw off the delicate balance of the mouth creating unwanted function or pressure in other areas. In order to complete a bridge, you must have strong, healthy teeth on either side of the missing teeth. The healthy teeth are called the abutment teeth, connected together by pontic teeth, creating a bridge. Ponitc teeth are solid porcelain, often with a hidden
gold substructure, that are held into place by the abutment teeth and sit on the tissue in the missing areas giving the appearance of normal, fully erupted teeth.
What does the procedure entail?
Preparing teeth for a bridge is a two-part process and depending how long your bridge is or how many teeth are involved, often the first procedure will take about an hour. Your doctor will start with anesthetic, then prepare the abutment teeth. Any existing fillings or decay would be removed from the abutment teeth at this time, and core build ups would be place. A core build up is a very hard light cured material that is bonded into a tooth, making it a very strong substructure for a bridge to sit upon. There are usually three impressions that will be needed during your hour appointment. Once the teeth have been prepared, your temporary bridge will be fabricated and cemented into place. Immediate, same day results for tooth replacement as opposed to replacement with implant procedures that could take up to one year for a final result. You will function as normal with your temporary bridge and return for your second appointment 3-4 weeks later for insertion of the permanent bridge. Often patients will not needs anesthetic, and the appointment is on average about a half hour. A try in of the bridge is performed and if patient and doctor agree the fit and feel of the new bridge is perfect, then it will be cemented into place.
What are the advantages of a Bridge?
A bridge will give you immediate, same day replacement of missing teeth. It will look and feel very natural and restore balancing to the mouth. It will increase chewing capacity and improve speech. A bridge is permanently cemented into place, so there is no risk of it ever coming out. The procedure for a bridge will be complete within two visits, 3-4 weeks apart from one another.
What are the disadvantages of a Bridge?
In order to complete a bridge, at least two healthy abutment teeth must be prepared down, which is an irreversible procedure. A bridge is one solid piece and cannot be flossed normally, there are special techniques and tools your doctor will teach you in order to care for your new bridge.
There is no recovery time for this procedure, we just ask you do not do any heavy duty chewing until your anesthetic has completely worn off. Often the tissues around the prepared abutment teeth and the injection site are slightly sore following the procedure, however, over the counter medication will take care of that. The costs for this procedure will vary, you must take into consideration how many teeth it will involve and the condition of the existing teeth, a consultation with your doctor will be necessary and a treatment plan will be constructed. Dental insurance will usually help with this procedure, however, every plan is different. You will have the chance to sit with an administrative insurance specialist to determine your specific coverage.
Dental Bridges Before & After Preview
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