Why would you get a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is used to replace missing teeth. A bridge made from ceramic fused to metal, all ceramic, or zirconium are popular options because they resemble natural teeth.
Dental bridges will last many years as they are highly durable. However, bridges may need to be replaced or re-cemented due to normal wear or if they are not cared for properly. Your dentist can help you with care instructions to maintain your bridge.
Bridges help replace a missing tooth, which is important for oral health. If the space from a missing tooth is left open, there can be several issues:
- Tooth crowding
- Shifting of adjacent and opposing teeth, causing teeth to become misaligned
- Bone loss at the missing tooth site and the adjacent teeth
- Facial asymmetry or changes to lower face shape
- Decay on surrounding teeth
A fixed bridge can be a great solution as it can prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position, restore the ability to chew or speak and restore a beautiful smile. It can also be an upgrade to an alternative, less comfortable removable partial denture.
What to Expect
While the teeth are numb, two or more anchoring teeth are prepared. A portion of the enamel will be removed to allow space for a dental crown. Next, a highly accurate impression is made or a digital scan is taken, which will be sent to a dental laboratory so your bridge can be fabricated. A temporary dental bridge will be made, which covers and protects the prepared teeth. You are able to function and chew with your temporary bridge.
At the second visit, the bridge foundation will be carefully checked to ensure a proper marginal fit to your prepared teeth. The dentist will select a shade of ceramic that is a good match with your adjacent natural teeth and re-cement the temporary bridge back in your mouth.
At the final visit, the permanent bridge is ready to be inserted (usually two weeks after initial treatment). Your dentist will try it in, make adjustments as needed, polish it, and insert it with a bonded cement.
To ensure the longevity of your permanent dental bridge, be sure to brush and floss under the bridge every day. Routine dental visits are also very important to maintaining your new fixed bridge.