If you've recently lost one or more teeth, a bridge is an excellent way to replace them. Discussed here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding dental bridges.
What are dental bridges?
A bridge is a false tooth, or set of false teeth, that replace one or more missing teeth. Typically, a dental bridge consists of three connected crowns, with the middle crown being the replacement tooth. This type of bridge uses the two adjacent teeth as anchors to hold the new tooth in place. In some cases—such as when the connected teeth are not healthy enough to serve as anchors or are missing themselves—the teeth are built up artificially.
Who is an ideal candidate to receive a dental bridge?
Anyone who has lost one or more teeth, is otherwise in good oral health, and is looking for a durable, lasting replacement is an excellent candidate for a dental bridge.
Why should I get a dental bridge?
Missing teeth affect more than just appearance. They can lead to bite problems, misalignment, speech impediments, and TMJ disorder, among other things. An increased risk of periodontal disease and tooth decay has also been linked to missing teeth. It is essential for your oral health to replace lost teeth.
What occurs during the placing of a dental bridge?
Initially Dr. Godfrey will perform a full exam to assess your oral health, and determine if a dental bridge is the best option for you. Then he will begin to prepare your adjacent teeth for the bridge by grinding them down. A local anesthetic is used, so the procedure is rather painless.
After the preparation is complete, an impression will be made of your teeth using a putty-like material. This impression will be the mold that your bridge is crafted around. The actual crafting of the bridges takes some time, as it is important that they fit precisely to avoid complications. You will be fitted with a temporary bridge. When your custom bridge is complete, you will return to the office and it will be cemented in place.
Are dental bridges permanent?
No, but they are very long-lasting. When taken care of properly, dental bridges last an average of five to fifteen years or more. Re-fittings or new bridges are required after that time.
Do they require any special care?
No. The only care required to maintain your dental bridge is practicing good dental hygiene—regular brushing and flossing—and regular checkups with your dentist. You should also make an effort to reduce bad oral habits that may cause unnecessary wear or degradation, such as teeth grinding, nail biting, and smoking.