Dental bridges offer a restoration option aimed at replacing a missing tooth or teeth for cosmetic and functional purposes. Dental bridges quite literally bridge the gap between natural and missing teeth. The bridge itself is made up of two or more dental crowns, generally with a gap in between, which are anchored to existing natural teeth, called abutment teeth. The use of a dental bridge is effective in restoring a patient’s natural bite as well as to prevent the shifting of other existing teeth.
The false teeth used in a dental bridge can be constructed of porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of these materials. Each has unique benefits, making each a functional option for different areas of the mouth.
Dental bridges are used for:
|•||Maintaining the natural shape of the face—By holding the place of the tooth and preventing shifting, as well as stimulating the jaw, dental bridges may help to prevent bone loss.|
|•||Cosmetic purposes—Dental bridges help to restore the natural beauty of the patients smile.|
|•||Functionality purposes—Dental bridges restore the patient's ability to properly chew, eat and speak.|
|•||Preventing drift—Dental bridges are very effective in preventing existing teeth from drifting or shifting out of place.|
|•||Correcting bite issues|
The Dental Bridge Process
After your initial consultation with Mike Regan, DMD determining whether or not a dental bridge is the right restoration procedure for you, the dental bridge process will then begin.
The first step is to prepare the abutment teeth for attachment. This involves contouring the shape of the teeth by removing enamel to make room for a crown to be placed over them. Impressions will then be made of your bite and your teeth and sent off to a dental lab for fabrication. While your bridge is being constructed by the lab Mike Regan, DMD will make for you a temporary bridge to protect your gums and existing teeth.
Your second appointment will involve the fitting and placement of your new dental bridge. The temporary bridge will be removed, and your new metal or porcelain bridge checked for proper fitting. Mike Regan, DMD will adjust as necessary until the perfect fit is achieved. If the bridge that you are receiving is a permanent bridge, Mike Regan, DMD may add a temporary cement at first and have you return within a few weeks to ensure a perfect fit remains. Once he and you are satisfied with the fit, he will permanently cement it into place.
The life span of a dental bridge will vary from patient to patient depending on their oral hygiene practices. With proper care—including regular dental exams, cleanings, daily flossing and brushing—a dental bridge should last the patient 15 years or more. The success of the bridge itself is dependent on a solid foundation. This means that keeping the existing natural teeth in the best possible health will ultimately determine the life of your permanent or removable dental bridge.
If you are a patient that is suffering from tooth loss and wishes to explore your tooth replacement options, call us today at 503-654-8283 for your consultation.