A dental bridge is an appliance your dentist at C & S Dental uses to replace one or several of your natural teeth. He or she attaches the metal pieces of the dental bridge to each of the teeth surrounding it. This acts as the support to hold the replacement tooth in place. When a missing tooth remains untreated, it can cause misalignment of your remaining teeth as well increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. A dental bridge is a permanent non-removable solution that also improves your speech and chewing ability. We are happy to discuss this and other restorative dentistry options with you during an initial consultation.
Different Types of Dental Bridges
A Maryland bridge is typically the best option for missing front teeth. Our dentist begins the procedure by fusing metal bands to the lower portion of the supporting teeth with dental cement made from resin. We understand you might have aesthetic concerns about front tooth replacements, but we assure you that no one can see the bands since they sit behind the nearby teeth.
When the missing tooth has only one supporting tooth available, our dental team will recommend a cantilever bridge. With this bridge, your dentist attaches the replacement tooth to the side of a nearby natural tooth. Since only one tooth provides support for the dental bridge, it’s especially important to avoid any risk of damaging it. An implant is usually the best option if you have no teeth on either side of the bridge to act as support.
A third option is the fixed bridge. This is most appropriate when you’re missing a tooth you use to chew with and still have natural teeth on either side of it. It is the most popular and durable type of bridge used in dentistry today. A fixed bridge has a dental crown at each end with an artificial tooth that sits in the middle.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
When receiving a fixed bridge, your dentist first needs to reduce the size of your supporting teeth. He or she uses a special piece of dental grinding equipment to do this. Our dentists always remove as little of the healthy supporting teeth as possible while still ensuring the materials supporting the bridge will remain affixed. The next step is to create an impression and metal framework to hold the replacement tooth in place.
You will receive a temporary bridge or retainer with an artificial tooth while you wait for your impressions to come back from our dental laboratory. Your second appointment consists of your final fitting. It takes approximately two to four weeks to complete the procedure of receiving a dental bridge.
Caring for Your New Bridge
We advise you to pay special attention to your oral hygiene and to visit us at C & S Dental for regular preventive care. You will also need a type of dental floss called a threader to floss underneath the dental bridge. It’s especially important to brush and floss the teeth supporting the bridge regularly to ensure you don’t develop gum disease where you no longer have a natural tooth. The good news is that your new restoration should last up to a decade with proper care.