Bridging the Gap: A Comprehensive Guide to Dental Bridges

Man sitting in dental chair receiving treatment

The American College of Prosthodontists suggests that around 178 million American adults are missing at least one tooth. Missing teeth can impact your smile, self-confidence, and overall oral health.

Missing teeth can cause your remaining teeth to become misaligned and lead to bone resorption, weakening your jaw and leading to facial collapse. When you have missing teeth, finding a solution that not only fills the gap in your smile but also prevents other teeth from moving out of place is essential. Dental bridges are an effective way to achieve this, acting like sturdy connectors between your teeth.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is designed to restore one or more missing teeth. The bridge covers the gap where teeth are absent and is typically composed of an artificial tooth, called a pontic, anchored to two or more custom-made crowns on the adjacent teeth. These crowns provide stable support for the pontic. Dental bridges restore your smile and dental functionality and prevent existing teeth from shifting, maintaining the integrity of your bite.

The Process of Getting Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a reliable solution to replace missing teeth and restore your smile. The dental bridge procedure is safe, minimally invasive, and usually takes two sessions. During treatment, you can expect the following:

  • Consultation: At your initial appointment, your dentist will evaluate the health of your remaining teeth and determine if a dental bridge is a suitable treatment for your smile.
  • Preparation: The teeth adjacent to the gap, known as abutment teeth, will be reshaped by removing some of the enamel. This ensures the crowns, which will hold the bridge in place, fit correctly.
  • Impressions: Your dentist will take impressions once the abutment teeth are ready. These are the models from which the off-site dental lab will fabricate your bridge.
  • Temporary bridge: To protect your exposed teeth and gums, your dentist may place a temporary bridge while the permanent one is being made.
  • Bridge placement: On your next visit, the temporary bridge, if placed, will be removed. The new bridge is adjusted for fit and comfort. Once everything looks and feels right, the bridge is cemented in place.
  • Follow-up: Your dentist may request follow-up visits to ensure the bridge fits comfortably and check on your bite.

Maintaining Your Dental Bridge

Once your dental bridge is successfully placed, taking care of it to ensure its longevity and functionality is vital. While dental bridges are designed to be durable, proper maintenance can extend their life and keep your smile looking great.

Brush and floss daily to prevent the buildup of plaque and decay that could compromise the health of your remaining natural teeth and your new bridge. You may need to use a floss threader to access hard-to-reach areas under the artificial tooth.

In addition to daily cleaning, regular check-ups with your dentist are essential. These visits allow your dentist to monitor the condition of your dental bridge and the surrounding teeth and gums, addressing any potential issues early.

If you notice any discomfort, loosening, or other problems with your bridge, don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment—contact your dentist for guidance and potential adjustments.

Restore Your Smile with a Dental Bridge

If you are considering getting a dental bridge or need professional advice on oral health care, contact Valley Dental Care. Our team of experienced and compassionate dental professionals, Valley Dental Care is dedicated to providing quality dental services tailored to your needs.

For appointments and consultations at Valley Dental Care in Aurora, call (630) 892-2193. If you are closer to Oswego, contact Valley Dental Care in Oswego at (630) 551-7000.