Tooth loss can have a significant impact on the quality of your life. Food can get stuck in the space between your healthy teeth. Keeping the space clean can prove more difficult, leaving you more susceptible to gum disease. Because of tooth loss, your healthy teeth may shift into empty sockets, which will throw off your bite. Depending upon the location of the missing tooth, your smile may also be affected. At National Dental Oakland Gardens, we can help to restore your smile, and the health of your mouth, with a bridge.
WHAT IS A DENTAL BRIDGE?
The idea behind a dental bridge is similar to an architectural bridge. Just as an architectural bridge spans the gap between two areas of land, a dental bridge spans the gap left behind by a missing tooth. It can be used to replace up to three missing teeth. The bridge consists of a pontic tooth (or teeth), that is affixed between two dental crowns. The crowns are designed to anchor your bridge in place over the teeth adjacent to space in your teeth.
HOW IS A BRIDGE PLACED?
The process for placing a bridge is similar to how a crown is placed. The two teeth that will anchor your bridge (abutment teeth) are prepared for the crowns. The enamel is trimmed down, creating the space necessary for the bridge to fit comfortably in amongst the rest of your teeth. This is done under a local anesthetic. After your teeth are prepared, we take an impression of the area, which is sent to our lab. There, your bridge is designed and fabricated.
It can take up to two weeks for your bridge to be finalized. While you wait, a temporary bridge will protect your prepared teeth, and help to restore some of the functions of your mouth. When your bridge is ready, we will check it for fit and then cement it in place.
DOES A DENTAL BRIDGE REQUIRE SPECIAL CARE?
A bridge does not require any special care. It should, however, be cared for just like the rest of your natural teeth. While the bridge, usually made from ceramic, cannot experience decay, it can still collect the plaque and bacteria that contribute to gum disease. Your bridge should be brushed and flossed daily. You should avoid biting down on anything exceptionally hard, like ice. You should also maintain regular dental visits for cleanings and exams. As we inspect the inside of your mouth, we will also examine your bridge to make sure that it is in good condition. If you take proper care of your bridge, it can last 20 years or more.
BENEFITS OF A DENTAL BRIDGE
Bridges have numerous benefits:
- Your ability to eat is improved, which can then help to improve your digestion and overall nutrition.
- Your speech is improved.
- With the gap closed, food particles can no longer get stuck, allowing your oral health to improve.
- Your smile is restored.
- Your adjacent teeth are kept in proper alignment, preventing the shifting that often happens when you lose teeth.
If you have lost even a single missing tooth, getting it restored is important. Contact National Dental Oakland Gardens today at (718) 407-0574 to schedule your consultation.