Dental bridges are a long-established method for replacing teeth. While other restorative options like dental implants have evolved in recent years, dental bridges are still used to help patients restore their smile. Valley Dental Health in Hunt Valley, MD offers dental bridges to patients looking to replace missing teeth and restore their smile’s appearance.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a prosthesis that fills the gap left by a missing tooth. It is comprised of an artificial replacement tooth surrounded by abutments, which are fitted over the surrounding healthy teeth. The result is a bridge of artificial teeth.
The teeth supporting the abutment must be prepared to support the artificial replacement tooth. Even if these teeth are healthy, they are ground down and have crowns applied to them. Because dental bridges require preparation of natural teeth, other options like implants are generally preferred because implants do not affect the surrounding healthy teeth.
Building a Bridge
If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns (and possibly more abutment teeth) will be needed to create the bridge. Your dentist must take several variables into account in this calculation: the number of teeth missing, the size, length and stability of the abutment tooth roots, and also from where in the mouth the teeth were lost.
So if you are missing three teeth, four abutment teeth may be necessary, thereby creating a seven-tooth bridge. Engineering and designing the bridge requires an understanding of the biology of the tooth-supporting gum and bone tissue as well as how to replace teeth.
What to Expect
A dental bridge usually requires two office visits. First, the abutment teeth are prepared and molds of these teeth will be taken to construct the crowns. A temporary bridge will be placed to protect the tissue inside the teeth.
When the permanent bridge has been made, your dentist will permanently secure it to the abutment teeth. At first, you may need an adjustment period to how the bridge feels in your mouth, but over time you’ll notice it less.
Caring for your Bridge
Crowned teeth require the same conscientious care as your other teeth. Be sure to brush twice daily and floss every day to reduce the build-up of dental plaque. You will also need to make sure you thread floss beneath the bridge to clear plaque from the abutment teeth. It is even more important to schedule regular cleanings with your dental provider if you have a bridge. A well-cared-for bridge can last for a long time with proper care.
Dental Bridges in Hunt Valley, MD
An individual consultation with your dentist will help you make the right decision regarding your oral health. Hunt Valley, MD patients looking for a top restorative dentist can schedule with Valley Dental Health online or call us at (410) 803-5587.