Many people with a missing tooth or several will look for solutions to restore their bite. Dental bridges provide a cheaper option for fixing a bite problem. When you have one or various missing teeth, you may choose a dental bridge to help fill the gaps with artificial teeth known as pontics. A bridge comprises crowns fitted on both sides of a missing tooth that support the pontic. Our dental specialists at Michelle Hedgecock, DDS are here to offer you dental bridges and other restorations that allow you to regain your bite function and improve your smile.
Who Should Get a Dental Bridge?
Often, people lose their teeth from decay, injury, or gum disease. Sometimes, you may be born with dental defects where you are missing one or several teeth. To receive a dental bridge, you should have healthy teeth on both sides of the missing one.
Why Do You Need a Bridge?
When a tooth is missing, the adjacent ones tend to move towards the empty space. Also, the teeth within the opposite jaw may move up or toward, getting towards the space. As a result, you may have bite problems, difficulties in chewing, or pain from the excess stress created on the teeth and jaw. You may also experience self-consciousness because of the way your smile looks.
Types of Dental Bridges
Different bridges are available to choose from. Traditional fixed bridges are the most common. They comprise two or more crowns along with a filler tooth that is connected to the crown. The work of the crown is to keep the bridge firm in place. Conventional bridges are designed of metal or porcelain fused to metal. They may also be made of ceramics.
Another type is cantilever bridges. In these bridges, the pontic or replacement tooth connects to only a single abutment tooth. Cantilever bridges are suitable for individuals who have teeth on just one side of the space or gap.
Dental Bridges Procedure
To fit a traditional dental bridge, a dentist will do preparation for the abutment teeth, usually during the first visit. The dentist reshapes the abutment teeth by removing some areas of the enamel and dentin. This way, there is room for the crown. Additionally, the dentist takes impressions or perhaps a digital scan of the teeth. Using the mold or scan as the model, a dental lab creates the bridge, the replacement teeth, as well as the crown. You also receive a temporary bridge that keeps the exposed area protected as the typical bridge is being prepared.
On your second visit, you will receive your permanent bridge. The dentist removes the temporary one and then places the permanent bridge. If any adjustments are required, the dentist does them, ensuring your restoration fits comfortably.
After the Procedure
It takes about five to seven years or even more before you will need your bridge replaced. You should ensure good oral hygiene coupled with regular professional cleanings. Although replacing your missing tooth with a bridge makes it easy to eat, you may need to choose soft foods until you are used to the restorations. Our team at Michelle Hedgecock, DDS can fit bridges to help improve your bite. Contact us at (512) 617-3361 for an appointment.