Although Dr. C has many options to help save a tooth, there are times when your tooth may be too badly damaged or decayed to save and must be removed. Fortunately, dental bridges help to restore your smile and relieve the pain and discomfort associated with damaged or decayed teeth. A dental bridge can restore your smile and natural bite.
What are Dental Bridges?
As the name implies, dental bridges bridge the gap caused by a missing tooth. Dental bridges restore your ability to chew properly, preserve the shape of your face, and prevent the remaining teeth from drifting out of place. There are two main types of dental bridges used today.
Traditional bridges are the most common type of dental bridge used today. A crown or implant is created for each side of the missing tooth with a pontic between them. The pontic fills the gap created by the missing tooth while the crowns or implant holds the bridge in place. Traditional bridges may be made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal.
Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth. This type of bridge is not commonly used for back teeth since the force of chewing may damage the bridge.
Placement of a Dental Bridge
Placement of a dental bridge may require several visits to get just the right fit and bite. At the first visit Dr. C will examine your teeth and gums. The abutment teeth are prepared for the new bridge by recontouring and removing a portion of the enamel of the teeth to make way for the new bridge. An impression of the teeth is then taken and sent off to the lab so that your new dental bridge may be created. A temporary bridge may be crafted by the doctor and put into place to protect the exposed teeth and gums until your new bridge is ready.
At your next visit the doctor will remove the temporary bridge and check your new bridge for placement and adjust it to achieve the proper fit. Once your new bridge is in place you may have to return to the office to have it adjusted. This process usually takes just a few minutes, but how many times you will need to return depends upon your particular situation.
At each visit the framework will be checked and adjusted to give you the best fit and natural bite. During this time Dr. C may temporarily cement the bridge in place until the ideal fit is achieved, and then your new bridge is cemented in place. Once your new bridge is in place you may find it is easier to chew food and eat, and your speech may actually be improved.
Care for Your Dental Bridges
Regular dental checkups and a healthy at-home dental hygiene routine is important not only to keep your remaining teeth healthy, but to help your dental bridge last. While you are adjusting to your new bridge you may want to eat mainly soft foods, and cut your food up into small pieces. With proper care your new bridge will last you many years.
Call or contact Chelkowski Dentistry in Austin today and ask about dental bridges and your options. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have, and look forward to hearing from you very soon.