A dental bridge is a more affordable way to fix your smile.
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, and you are feeling self conscious about your smile, visit Dr. Robinson and the team at Valley Dental Clinic to learn about your options. One option for fixing your smile could be a dental bridge, which is more effective and affordable than you might think.
What is a dental bridge?
To put it simply, a dental bridge fills in the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth.
A dental bridge usually consists of a crown on the teeth each side of where the missing tooth or teeth are, often called the abutment teeth, and then a pontic, or false tooth, is placed in the middle and cemented into place. The pontic tooth or teeth can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of those materials. The abutment teeth are your natural teeth, or implants, and anchor the pontic tooth or teeth to make up the dental bridge.
Why do you need a dental bridge?
Most often, a patient needs a dental bridge because of a missing tooth or teeth from gum disease, tooth decay, or an injury.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, your other teeth could move into the empty space, which can create jaw problems, and problems with your bite. This could also lead to pain in your jaw from the extra stress on your teeth.
How long do dental bridges last?
Like any dental procedure, how long it lasts can depend on a lot of different factors. Dental bridges, if maintained well with normal dental checkups and a daily oral hygiene routine, can last up to 15 years. Most dental bridges have a lifespan of about 10 years.
Are there other options?
If you aren’t sure if a dental bridge is right for you, there are two other options you could consider: implants or a partial denture.
An implant is surgically placed in your jaw. Over time, the implants fuse with the jaw bone, and teeth created by a dental lab are then connected to the implants.
A partial denture is essentially removable false teeth. With dentures, you must remove them from your mouth to clean them.
Are dental bridges affordable?
Compared to other dental options, a dental bridge is an affordable option if you are missing a tooth or teeth because dental insurance often covers part of the cost for a dental bridge. The best way to find out is to check with your insurance provider beforehand.
What is the process for getting a dental bridge?
Once you and your dentist have decided a dental bridge is the right option for you, your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth by removing part of the enamel from those teeth to allow the crown to be placed over them. Next, you will get an impression of your teeth made, which will be the model from which a dental lab will create you bridge, pontic, and abutments. Your dentist will then make temporary crowns for you to wear while your bridge is being created.
Once your bridge is ready, you’ll come back to see Dr. Robinson to remove your temporary bridge. He will then replace that with your new metal or porcelain bridge. You may have to visit the dentist a couple times to ensure the fit of your bridge is correct. Once the fit is perfect, the bridge is cemented into place.
What is the aftercare process?
After your permanent dental bridge has been cemented in place, many patients find it much easier to eat and chew with the bridge than when they had a missing tooth or teeth. For the first few days, you should eat soft foods until you get used to the feel of the bridge.
You should also make sure you follow a regular dental routine of brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, and follow that up with regular dental checkups at least once a year.
Visit Dr. Robinson to learn more.
Losing a tooth doesn’t have to mean the end of your smile. At Valley Dental Clinic, we are experienced in finding the right tooth replacement option for each unique patient. If you have a missing tooth or teeth, visit the team at Valley Dental Clinic to learn about your options and to see if a dental bridge is the right solution to fix your smile!