If you are seeking a solution for replacing missing teeth or restoring a badly broken or decayed tooth that is not very stable to hold a crown on its own, our dentist at The OC Smiles Family Dental may suggest a dental bridge. Installing a dental bridge allows you to regain the function of your teeth because you can now eat and speak normally. It also prevents the other teeth in the mouth from shifting towards the void left by the lost or missing teeth.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Understanding what a dental bridge is and how it works can help you make an informed decision when seeking teeth replacement. A dental bridge comprises a set of teeth meant to create a connection where the missing teeth or tooth was in the mouth. A false tooth referred to as pontic is connected on either side to a crown that is cemented on the immediate adjacent teeth called the abutments. Alternatively, the pontic may be attached to a dental implant if no healthy adjacent teeth are available.
Dental Bridges Procedure
Our team starts with abutment teeth preparation, a process that involves filing down the adjacent support teeth for the bridge. This is done under anesthesia to promote comfort. We then make a mold, also known as an impression that acts as a model for making the final restoration. Because it takes time for the permanent bridge to be fabricated, we install a temporary one.
Thereafter, you visit us to fit the final dental bridge. In about two weeks the permanent dental bridge is ready, and you can check in to have it fitted. Our dentist uses dental cement to secure and place the crowns onto the support or abutment teeth. If we are using dental implants to support the bridges, we perform implant surgery first before the bridge placement procedure.
What to Expect
There is little or no recovery period required after the installation of dental bridges. Therefore, once the procedure is completed and you have a set of dental bridges fixed in place, you can continue to use your prosthesis much like you would use your natural teeth. Many patients can adapt to talking and eating with dental bridges in just a few days or weeks. However, if you experience prolonged pain and discomfort when using the bridge, visit our office immediately.
Caring for Dental Bridges
Like your natural teeth, you should clean and maintain dental bridges in good form. You can clean dental bridges by doing routine brushing and flossing. Routine cleaning of the bridges helps prevent the accumulation of plaque and food debris around the edges. Without good oral hygiene, the plaque and food leftovers accumulating on the edges of the prosthesis can contribute to the decay of the underlying abutment teeth. As such, your dental bridge could fail.
We advise you to avoid hard foods in order to preserve the structural integrity of your dental bridge and eliminate the chances of breaking or fracturing the dental crowns. Make sure you make frequent routine trips to our office for checkups to see if your prostheses are working as they should.
Get in touch with us at The OC Smiles Family Dental to see if bridges are a suitable prosthesis for replacing your lost or missing teeth. Call us at (971) 447-0093 to schedule an appointment.
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