A missing tooth is an inconvenience that can make it difficult to communicate, bite, or even eat effectively. If you have recently lost a tooth or undergone a tooth extraction, it is crucial you visit Cooley Smiles to discuss tooth replacement options. One cosmetic option, a dental bridge, is a safe and effective way to restore the aesthetics and function of your smile.
A dental bridge is designed to fill the open space created by a missing tooth. Bridges typically consist of a pontic or false tooth that is suspended between two dental crowns. The crowns are placed on the adjacent teeth, also known as abutment teeth, during a relatively minor procedure.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
Before you can receive a dental bridge, we must first determine you are a suitable candidate. In other words, your surrounding teeth and gum tissue must be healthy enough to support a bridge. Next, we will begin the procedure by reshaping your abutment teeth. The teeth must be reshaped to accommodate the thickness of the crowns. Our dentists will use a small file to remove a sizable portion of your enamel.
After your teeth are reshaped, we will take an impression to make a model of your teeth. This model will be sent to our dental laboratory, where they will fabricate your final restoration. This process may take several weeks so that we will give you a temporary bridge in the meantime.
Once your final bridge is complete, we can schedule your second appointment. During this appointment, we will remove the temporary and check the margins on your permanent one. An exact fit is crucial to your comfort and oral health. Once we are satisfied with the fit, we will permanently cement it into place using a special adhesive.
These days, we use porcelain to fabricate most bridges. Porcelain is an excellent material for dental restorations because it mimics the texture and light-reflective properties of natural enamel.
Caring for Your Bridge
Dental bridges are pretty easy to care for if you have the right information. The most important thing you can do is keep your remaining teeth strong and healthy. Be sure to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once. The abutment teeth are especially vulnerable to decay, so be extra vigilant when brushing them. We may also recommend a specialized floss to clean in between the pontic and your gum tissue. During your regular dental exams and professional cleaning, our dentists or our dental hygienist can demonstrate the proper brushing and flossing methods. Under the right care and maintenance, your bridge can last up to 15 years or longer!
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
First and foremost, a bridge can restore the aesthetics of your smile. People who are missing a tooth may become self-conscious when they laugh, eat, or smile. A dental bridge can give you back your self-confidence! It will also restore your ability to properly chew and speak while distributing the forces of your bite healthily. When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth may drift out of position to accommodate the open space. A bridge will keep your teeth in their proper position.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you would like to learn more about dental bridges, call (425) 569-4545, and schedule your appointment today!