A Dental bridge is great option for a patient that has missing teeth that need to be replaced. Our dentists at HomeTown Dental at Irving have years of expertise in this area of dentistry and can help you to bridge that gap and restore your smile.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is when one or more false teeth are attached at each end to crowned teeth on either side of the space where the missing teeth used to be. If the bridge is only fixed to one tooth at the end of the space, it is known as a cantilever bridge. Dental bridges are a good method of replacing several missing teeth in a row, and if cared for properly will last for many years.
Am I Suitable For a Bridge?
Only a dentist will be able to confirm whether you are a suitable candidate for a dental bridge. However, you must have strong, healthy teeth on either side of the gap that the bridge can be secured on. It is also important to have no signs of gum disease as this can attack the supporting tissues and bone of the crowned teeth, compromising the bridge. If the patient's natural teeth are too damaged or unhealthy, we may recommend dental implants.
How is a Dental Bridge Fitted?
Traditional bridges are fitted over existing teeth, and so the teeth must be prepared beforehand. This will involve administering a local anesthetic and filing down the sides and top of the teeth immediately next to the gap. This is to create enough space for the crowns to fit comfortably over them.
It is then necessary to take impressions of your mouth to form plaster casts that are sent to an offsite laboratory. Using the casts, a lab technician will produce a custom-made bridge to fit your mouth perfectly.
Once the bridge is ready, you can come back to see us to have it fitted. We will place it over the prepared teeth to see how it fits, making any minor adjustments, before adhering it permanently to your teeth.
The materials used for dental bridges are used for their strength and aesthetic qualities. At the back of the mouth, it is not so important to have a good cosmetic result because the teeth are not usually seen. These teeth typically bear a lot of pressure from chewing, and so a strong material is required for a bridge, such as porcelain fused to metal (PFM). These have a metal skeleton, covered with a layer of porcelain to match your own teeth.
At the front of the mouth where appearance is more important, porcelain is often used as it has a translucent quality that is similar to natural teeth, providing an excellent cosmetic result.
Do Dental Bridges Require Special Care
If you have any dental restorations, you must be committed to a good oral hygiene routine. Dental bridges are no exception. While they are not susceptible to decay, the capped, natural teeth supporting the bridge are. Thus, you will need to brush and floss twice daily, paying particular attention to the bottom of the crown, near the gum line.
With good care, your dental bridge should last for ten to fifteen years, or longer.
Speak to us at HomeTown Dental at Irving if you’d like to find out more about dental bridges and whether you are a good candidate. Call our office on (682) 204-5777.