What is a bridge?
A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth. It extends across an area that has no teeth and is typically made up of an artificial tooth fused between 2 crowns. (A crown is a hollow, artificial tooth that fits over a natural tooth or a dental implant). The bridge is held firmly in place by your teeth on each side of the missing one(s) or by dental implants. A bridge is permanent, and you cannot remove it.
Why do I need a bridge?
A missing tooth is a serious matter. Teeth work together, so when you lose a tooth, the adjacent ones tend to tilt or drift into the empty space. The teeth in the opposite jaw also shift down or up towards the open area. This unbalance stresses your teeth, possibly causing pain.
Teeth that changed their original position are now harder to clean. Your healthy teeth are at risk of decay and gum disease. When a tooth is missing, the bone may shrink. If that happens, your cheeks and jawbones can change their shape. Over time, your face can look different.
How is a bridge placed?
Placing a bridge usually takes more than one visit. First, we have to prepare the adjacent teeth. These teeth will support the bridge. We will take an impression of your teeth. Then, we will send the impression to the lab technician who will make the custom prosthesis. While the lab is working on your bridge, we will place a temporary bridge.
When the permanent bridge is ready, the dentist will cement it to the empty area. There could be some adjustments until the patient feels comfortable using the new appliance.
Do you need implants?
Sometimes. When the adjacent tooth or teeth to the empty area are not in good shape to support a bridge, we need to place implants.
Dentists and oral surgeons surgically place posts (implants) into your jaw. Implants do not need the support of the adjacent teeth. The ideal candidate for an implant should have good health, enough bone and gum health to withstand the implant.
What materials do we use to make the bridge?
We use ceramic, metal or a combination of both. Ceramics are often bonded to a metal alloy. You can discuss with your dentist what material is more appropriate for suiting your personal needs.
Caring for your bridge
If you have dental disease, the adjacent teeth may not be able to support the bridge anymore. Also, if you have implants and you do not have the right hygiene, you can have gum disease and subsequent bone loss. When you have a bridge, you are more susceptible to develop gum disease. For this reason, it is essential that you follow these tips:
- Brush twice per day and floss. It is advisable to use between-the-teeth cleaners. You need to remove the plaque (the sticky film of bacteria) off of your teeth.
- Embrace your hygienist advice and have regular professional cleanings.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
Instructions after We Place a Temporary Bridge
Please do not chew on the temporary bridge for approximately 30 minutes.
With the temporary bridge, please refrain from chewing anything chewy or sticky (gum, taffy), and hard foods on that side.
Also, please avoid eating popcorn or nuts during this time.
Rinse with saltwater.
If the temporary bridge does happen to come off, you can try to put it back on yourself with some toothpaste or denture adhesive. The bridge only goes on one way, so if your bite feels okay, then it is on correctly.
Please call us to have the temporary bridge re-cemented at your earliest convenience if this does happen.
Please brush the temporary bridge like your other teeth, but avoid flossing around that tooth.
If something should get stuck between the teeth, floss through the contact and pull the floss out the side to avoid hooking the margin of the temporary bridge and pulling it off.
Please return at your appointed date to have the permanent bridge cemented.
Instructions after We Cement a Permanent Crown:
After the dentist cements your new, finalized bridge appointment, wait one hour to eat.
Avoid hard or sticky foods for a few hours.
Resume regular brushing/flossing habits, and follow any special hygiene instructions given by your dentist
The gums around the tooth may be sore for 2-3 days following the procedure. Advil or Tylenol is best to take if this does occur.
Need Dental Bridges?
Contact us today!
Best when you have a missing tooth.
A bridge can help restore and stabalise the damaged set of theeth and provide strength