Do you have one or more missing teeth? A dental bridge can be an excellent choice for restoring teeth for a natural-looking and functional smile. This restorative dentistry treatment attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Dental bridges can be either fixed or removable. Fixed bridges are usually supported by dental implants while removable bridges are supported on both sides by natural teeth. Raleigh, NC dentist Dr. Emily Ann Reece provides dental bridge treatment to patients at Reedy Creek Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.
Dental Bridge Treatment
The dental bridge attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments in our Raleigh dental office. At your first appointment, Dr. Reece will prepare the teeth on either side of the tooth gap by removing a portion of the tooth enamel. She will take dental impressions of your teeth to send to a dental lab where the bridge is constructed to exact specifications. When the bridge is complete, Dr. Reece will either place dental crowns on the abutment teeth or bond artificial teeth to the abutment teeth.
Caring For Your Dental Bridge
Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while your custom dental bridge is being fabricated. We use anesthetic, so your tongue, lips, and roof of your mouth may be numb. Do not eat or drink hot foods or beverages until the numbness is completely worn off.
To keep your temporary restorations in place, avoid eating sticky and hard foods. It is important to brush normally but floss carefully. Do not pull up on your floss as this may dislodge the temporary restoration. Pull the floss out from the side. You may experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity but this should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration.
Is a Dental Bridge Right For Me?
Dental bridges are a great solution for the right patient. For instance, they’re recommended over dentures because they’re supported by other teeth or implants and they don’t require adhesive to adhere to the gums. Bridges are one of the quicker options to replace missing teeth as well. Even if your bridge is supported by implants, it’s still quicker than getting full implants.
While bridges supported by dental implants are more stable, traditional bridges are still a great option. If you’ve had a tooth that’s been missing for a long time, the jawbone has probably deteriorated significantly. To get a dental implant, surgical bone grafting would most likely be needed. A bridge allows you to avoid this extensive procedure.
Bridges are also ideal for patients that suffer from gum disease or other persistent issues with their gums. With these problems, implants aren’t a good option because there can be issues with the implant healing and introducing harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Since removable bridges don’t require anything invasive, this isn’t a worry.
Dental Bridge FAQs
How long does a dental bridge last?
A dental bridge can last anywhere from 5-15 years or more. It depends on if it’s supported by natural teeth or dental implants, and also can vary depending on how well you take care of your restoration.
Can I eat with my dental bridge?
You can eat most things with your dental bridge, particularly if it’s a fixed bridge. However, there are some things you should be cautious about. You should avoid extremely sticky foods and foods like apples, that require a lot of pressure to bite into.
How do I clean under a dental bridge?
If you have a fixed bridge, you still want to make sure that you’re cleaning it properly. A water pick is always a good option to clean under a bridge. You can also use super floss, a floss threader, or other methods. We’ll instruct you on how to take care of your dental bridge at your appointment.