If you are looking to replace a missing tooth in your mouth, you may be considering a dental bridge. Continue reading for 10 things you need to know before choosing this treatment method.
The Two Surrounding Teeth Are Affected
A dental bridge is essentially a three (or more) unit dental crown that is placed over existing natural teeth to replace a missing tooth. The natural teeth serve as the “anchors” for the bridge - in order for the successful placement of the bridge, the anchor teeth must be shaved down and prepared. It is important to keep in mind that this preparation is not reversible - once tooth enamel is removed from the surface of the tooth, it can not be replaced.
Bridges Last Quite A Long Time
When properly maintained and cared for, dental bridges can last upwards of 10-20 (sometimes even 30) years. Of course, every patient is different; the length of time that your bridge lasts will depend on your bone health, your oral hygiene habits, and the health of the teeth beneath the bridge.
A Dental Bridge Can Help Boost Your Confidence
A missing tooth can lead to feelings of insecurity or low self-confidence. Thankfully, replacing a missing tooth with a dental bridge can help fill your smile line and restore your confidence. Since your bridge will be designed to mimic the shape, size, and colour of your natural teeth, it will be nearly impossible to distinguish your restorative work from your natural teeth.
Dental Bridges Have Many Benefits
Dental bridges have a wide range of benefits, including:
- Fills the space left by a missing tooth (or teeth)
- Prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting out of place over time
- Restores chewing/speaking ability
- Prevents facial collapse
- Evens out and correct the bite
No Special Care Is Needed
To the surprise of many patients, no special care is needed to maintain a dental bridge once it has been placed inside the mouth. To care for your dental bridge, simply brush and floss on either end as you normally would with your natural teeth. In most cases, your dentist will provide you with “bridge floss”, which allows you to thread a piece of floss through a pick and pass the floss directly beneath the bridge.
Each Dental Bridge Is Unique
Your dental bridge will be molded especially for you based upon impressions taken by your dentist; it is designed to match the shape and size of the rest of your natural teeth. The shade of your dental bridge will be expertly matched to your natural teeth to ensure that there is no colour differentiation.
Expect Multiple Visits
In most cases, dental bridges are completed in two visits. During your first visit, the anchor teeth will be shaved down and prepared. Impressions will be taken, and a temporary bridge will be made and cemented inside the mouth. The impressions are sent out to a dental lab, where your permanent dental bridge will be fabricated.
You will return in a couple of weeks when your bridge arrives back from the lab. During this second appointment, the bridge will be permanently cemented inside the mouth. Your dentist will ensure that the bite is correct and instruct you on properly caring for your bridge.
Dental Bridges May Not Be Right For Everyone
Dental bridges are a fantastic form of dental treatment, but they are not always an option for every patient.
Things that may disqualify a patient as a candidate for a dental bridge include:
- Damaged or decayed teeth on either side of the empty space in the mouth
- Overall poor dental health
- Poor bone density
- Pre-existing gum disease
A consultation with your dentist will help you determine if you are the right candidate for a dental bridge.
Dental Bridge Placement Is Not Painful
Contrary to popular belief, you will experience very little to no discomfort during both your dental bridge preparation and placement procedures. Your dentist will ensure that you are comfortable during the entire process from start to finish. To begin your preparation procedure, a local anesthetic will be used to ensure that you are completely numb.
After the preparation procedure is complete, you may be slightly sore, but this can usually be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication. When you return to have your permanent bridge placed inside the mouth, your dentist will simply remove your temporary bridge and cement the permanent one; this process is painless and quick.
You May Lose Bone Density Over Time
Once a natural tooth is removed from its place in the jawbone, the bone that once surrounded the tooth begins to recede. In order to prevent bone recession, the best option is to place something inside the jawbone once more. The best way to do so is with a dental implant. If you choose to pursue a dental bridge, it is important to keep in mind that you may lose bone density over time in the place where the natural tooth once was. This is something you can discuss with your trusted dentist.
FY Smile: Best Dental Bridges in Sydney
Here at FY Smile, we are proud to offer dental bridges in our Sydney dental office.
Your journey towards the beautiful smile of your dreams starts here. In addition to offering comprehensive dental and orthodontic treatment options in Sydney, FY Smile is proud to operate as an official Digital Smile Design Clinic. Our team of experts will work with you to design a beautiful smile that naturally complements your features and provides you with priceless confidence.