When you lose a tooth, it can be embarrassing. It can also be quite frightening. In spite of this (or perhaps because of this), many people feel the need to minimize the significance of this. Losing a tooth is more than a cosmetic issue; it can lead to a number of additional dental and oral health issues. Here at Kane & Kerper Dentistry, we have helped a number of patients who have suffered a tooth loss return their smile to its natural, healthy brilliance.
What is a dental bridge?
Dental bridges are fixed dental appliances that fill in the gap left by missing teeth. There are many different kinds of dental bridges; during your consultation appointment, your dentist will discuss which options will be best for use in your case. The type of bridge used most often is known as the traditional bridge, and consists of porcelain that has been bonded to metal. This bridge type is very popular because the porcelain closely mimics the look of natural teeth. In this type of bridge, a dental crown is placed over the abutment teeth on either side of the gap.
Why is a fixed dental bridge necessary?
When you lose a tooth or multiple teeth, a number of dental issues can develop if the tooth is not replaced. Over time, your remaining teeth can begin to shift out of place, and will eventually pull out of their sockets. This can also change the overall look and shape of your lips and face, as well as affecting your ability to chew and speak properly. A fixed dental bridge can prevent all of these issues from happening, and return your smile to a more natural and healthy appearance.
What is involved in getting a fixed dental bridge?
The first step in placing your fixed dental bridge to make sure that the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side of the space where the missing tooth once was) are healthy enough to support a dental crown. If this is an issue, these teeth will need to be treated first. Once your abutment teeth are strong and healthy, your mouth will be numbed and the teeth will be properly shaped to support the dental crown. An impression of these teeth, as well as of the gap between them will be made and sent to a professional laboratory where your dental fixed dental bridge will be custom made. This is a process that will take anywhere from two to three weeks. You will be given a temporary bridge to wear until your fixed dental bridge has been created.
During your second appointment, the fit of your fixed dental bridge will be checked and adjusted as necessary. Then, we will cement the anchoring dental crowns over your existing teeth in order to hold the bridge in place. In some cases, the dentist may decide to use a temporary cement at first in order to allow you to wear the bridge for a couple of weeks to ensure that the fit is comfortable. The bridge will then be adjusted once more and permanently cemented into place.
Am I a good candidate for a dental bridge?
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, but your remaining teeth are in relatively good shape, you’re probably a good candidate for a dental bridge. You may also be a good candidate if your surrounding teeth aren’t completely healthy, but are easily treatable. People who should not receive a dental bridge include children who do not have all of their permanent teeth, and patients whose bordering teeth are severely unhealthy or decaying.
If you would like to know more about the types of dental bridges, or to find out if a dental bridge would be right for you, call our office today at 805-983-0245 or use the contact form below to schedule your consultation. We look forward to answering any questions you might have, and to helping you achieve your ideal, healthy smile once more.
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