While kids are thrilled to lose teeth and get visits from the Tooth Fairy, missing teeth is a serious issue as an adult. Once permanent teeth are knocked out or have to be removed due to trauma or disease, they don’t grow back. Therefore, a person’s only options are to leave it as is, with a gap, or get the missing tooth replaced.
A gap in your teeth can affect you in several ways. It can impact the appearance of your smile. It can also affect how you chew or talk. A gap can also cause teeth to shift. You can avoid all of this by filling in the gap.
There are a couple ways you can do this. Dental implants are a good option, but they can be too costly for many people. A cheaper alternative is a dental bridge.
A dental bridge fills in the gaps you have in your smile. Whether you are missing one or multiple teeth, a bridge can fill in these gaps with help of pontics and abutment teeth. Pontics are the false teeth that are placed in the gaps. They can be made of porcelain, gold or alloys. Abutment teeth are the teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth get crowns placed on them so they can help support the bridge. Abutment teeth are typically natural teeth, but they can be implants as well if there are not enough teeth to create a bridge.
Is a dental bridge the right solution for your smile? Let the team Family Dental Westborough determine the best way in to fill in your gaps. To schedule a consultation, call us today at (508) 366-7450.
Types of Dental Bridges
You have three dental bridge options to choose from:
- Traditional bridges. Traditional bridges are the most commonly used bridges. They require a tooth on both sides of the gap. Crowns are placed on these abutment teeth and a pontic is placed in between. Porcelain fused to metal is the strongest material used for these bridges.
- Maryland bridges. These bridges use crowns made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal. A framework consisting of metal wings is then bonded to the existing teeth.
- Cantilever bridges. These bridges are like traditional bridges, but are used when there is an adjacent tooth on just one side of the gap. Cantilever bridges are not as common as they once were. Their use is limited, as they can only be done on front teeth.
Dental Bridge Process
The process to install a dental bridge can involve several visits to the dentist. At the first visit, the dentist prepares the abutment teeth by removing part of the enamel. This allows a crown to be fitted onto them. The bridge, pontic and crowns are specially created for your mouth, so the dentist will need to take impressions of your mouth and send them to a lab. You can get a temporary bridge to wear in your mouth while your permanent bridge is being made.
At the second visit, you will receive your new permanent bridge. Your dentist will check it and adjust it as needed to ensure a proper fit. The dentist will permanently cement the bridge at that appointment or at a future visit.
Adjusting to a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge should make your life easier. You should be able to eat better, since you no longer be limited to small pieces of food. Since you will no longer have missing teeth, speaking should also be easier. You will also have no more gaps on your teeth, so you should feel more confident in your smile.
Caring for a Bridge
How you care for your dental bridge is correlated to how long it will last. Dental bridges can last more than a decade with proper care. It’s important that you practice good oral hygiene. Brush and floss daily. Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Visit your dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams.
Schedule A Consultation Today
Contact Family Dental of Westborough to schedule your consultation. Our friendly staff would be delighted to assist you and your family.
Call (508) 366-7450 or book an appointment online. Most major insurances are accepted and new patients are welcome. We look forward to meeting you.