If you’ve lost teeth due to accident, injury, or disease, we can create a permanent bridge to restore your solid smile. A bridge consists of an artificial replacement tooth, supported by neighboring crowns and "bridging" the space left by a missing tooth.
A bridge not only fills the gap, but it also prevents repositioning of remaining teeth. It can correct a misaligned bite, improve chewing function and speech articulation, and provide internal structure for the face to give you a more youthful appearance.
It's important to replace missing teeth, whether with a bridge, implant or other dental work. Without attention, missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift, damaging your jaw and teeth and leading to increased dental problems like TMJ disorder. They also can be embarrassing or unsightly, leading many patients to avoid smiling and laughing. A bridge can help restore your confidence, appearance and oral health.
what to expect with dental bridges
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It’s fixed to two surrounding teeth, called abutment teeth, with the use of crowns. There are a few different styles of bridges, and different bridge materials are available.
Every patient’s treatment needs differ and the style of bridge we suggest will depend upon the strength and health of the anchor teeth, as well as the location of the gap in relation to the rest of your teeth. If the anchor teeth aren’t strong enough for a bridge application, we may recommend treatment with an implant instead. For a bridge that replaces many teeth, we may recommend a removable partial denture or implant-supported prosthesis. Each bridge, implant, denture or replacement tooth is custom-made to match your smile and fit with your natural teeth.
The process of getting a bridge includes preparing the anchor teeth and taking detailed impressions of your teeth. Often, you can expect to have a temporary bridge while your permanent one is being made.
Once your permanent bridge is ready, it will be placed and bonded to your teeth. Most bridges can be expected to last from 5 to 10 years with good daily care and regular preventive cleanings from your dental hygienist.
how to care for dental bridges
Adapting proper dental care habits can help add longevity not only to your dental bridges but also to your surrounding natural teeth. It is common for food to become lodged beneath or beside bridges, which can cause plaque build-up and tooth decay. In severe cases of unaddressed plaque, the decay can actually cause the bridge to fail. In addition to regularly brushing and flossing your natural teeth, dental bridges require daily care as well including:
Brushing the teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
Flossing between the natural teeth and the bridge
Flossing underneath the bridge with additional oral hygiene tools
Rinsing the teeth regularly with a fluoride mouthwash
Getting your teeth checked and professionally cleaned by a dentist on a regular basis
Additionally, avoiding chewy or tough foods such as nut shells and hard candy can also help preserve the integrity of your dental bridge. Although dental bridges are not as strong as natural teeth, they can last decades with proper maintenance and care.
who needs dental bridges and why
Dental bridge placement can help prevent the issues that can result from having missing teeth and can be customized to blend in with the shape, color, and texture of your surrounding natural teeth. Adults who are missing one or more consecutive teeth may be recommended for dental bridges to:
Restore the functionality of the teeth for normal chewing and eating
Maintain a normal appearance without visibly missing teeth
Prevent speech impediments that can occur when teeth are missing
Keep the bone and gum tissues that once supported the missing teeth from degrading when bridges with implants are present
As dental bridges rely on healthy teeth and gums for the crowns to stay anchored, candidates who have gum disease may need to wait until gum health has been fully restored to help ensure the success of the dental bridge procedure. During your consultation, our team will assess your medical history and condition and discuss all of your treatment options with you to determine if you are a candidate for dental bridges.
contact our office to schedule a consultation
At Moore and Pascarella, we combine high quality dental care with a great patient experience. Reach out to our office today to schedule your consultation and find out if you are a candidate for dental bridges.
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We’re committed to patient comfort throughout any and all procedures we perform, which is why we offer a range of sedation options. Consider learning more about our oral conscious sedation dentistry, a method which allows the patient to be awake throughout an entire procedure without experiencing any pain or discomfort.
We offer conscious sedation for all kinds of procedures, but its not the only type of sedation we can provide. To learn more about the sedation methods Moore & Pascarella makes available to patients, click here.