A dental bridge is a restorative treatment used to replace one or more missing teeth in a row. It is called a bridge because it literally “bridges the gap” where a tooth is missing. Bridges can be made of gold, porcelain, or a combination of both materials. They consist of two dental crowns on either side that attach to healthy teeth and hold an artificial tooth in the middle. Bridges are permanent restorations that are highly durable and can last for several years when properly maintained.
Dental bridges are a good treatment option for patients who are missing one to four teeth and are interested in a permanent fix instead of a partial denture. They are also a good option for patients with poor oral hygiene who need a more stable solution to keep their remaining teeth from shifting around.
Advantages of Bridges
- Bridges require less preparation than implants, and your dentist will not have to cut into the roof of your mouth to place them. This makes bridge placement much less invasive than a dental implant procedure.
- A traditional bridge utilizes the surrounding teeth for support. This means that if surrounding teeth are healthy, you may be eligible for a bridge.
- Bridges can be used to support dental crowns, so you can have a brand-new crown placed over an existing tooth with a bridge.
- Since bridges can be made from tooth-colored materials, they stay under disguise when you laugh, talk, smile, etc.
- Bridges restore oral functionality and aesthetics, as they allow you to bite and chew food, restore the ability to pronounce words appropriately, etc.
How Is a Dental Bridge Placed?
Dental bridges consist of two crowns on either side, which fit over the teeth adjacent to the gap. The bridge is bonded to the surrounding teeth with dental cement for a secure fit. Once in place, your bridge can be used just like your natural teeth – you can eat your favorite foods without fear of damaging it. Your jawbone and gums will also feel supported, as they no longer have to support missing teeth. Plus, you’ll regain a beautiful, complete smile!
The main difference between a crown and a bridge is that a crown restores a cracked or broken tooth, while a dental bridge replaces one or more missing teeth in a row. On the other hand, the process of getting a bridge is very similar to getting a crown. The process can usually be completed within two appointments. At the first appointment, the doctor will prepare the teeth by filing down the enamel to make room for the crowns. Then, we will take impressions of the patient’s teeth to send to a lab, where technicians will fabricate the bridge to match the patient’s unique bite. This process takes a few days, so a temporary restoration will be put in place to protect the prepared teeth and to prevent shifting while the permanent bridge is being made.
What Happens After a Bridge Is Placed?
Your dentist will give you specific instructions on caring for your new bridge, including what foods to avoid. Bridges should be brushed and flossed daily, just like your own teeth. A water flosser is great for cleaning between the bridge and your gums to prevent decay. You may also need to visit your dentist more often for checkups and cleanings.
You may notice slight discomfort or sensitivity in the first few days after having your bridge placed. If the pain persists and does not subside after a few days, let your dentist know. With proper care, bridges are durable and can last many years.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call 925-687-8250 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 1909 Parkside Dr, Concord, CA 94519.