The phrase “one-day dental crowns” might sound like a pipe dream, but nothing could be further from the truth. New technology has made its way into the offices of many dentists, allowing for the creation of a custom-made dental crown on the same day a patient walks through the door. How is this possible? Read…
Dental Bridges: Fort Lee’s Answer for Missing Teeth
Dental bridges are used for closing up space created by one or more missing teeth. The bridge consists of two or more crowns to cover the teeth on each side of the gap, which anchors the prosthetic tooth/teeth between them. The anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, while the false teeth are called pontic, and can be created from porcelain, gold, metal alloys, or a combination of the materials. Implants or natural teeth support dental bridges.
Why do dentists recommend dental bridges?
One or more missing teeth can create trouble for existing space between them. Oftentimes, the remaining teeth will shift, resulting in crooked teeth. The dental bridge closes the gap to prevent the teeth from moving and help strengthen the connected teeth. Teeth rely on each other for support, and a missing tooth could add more pressure on the other teeth.
Aside from restoring and strengthening the smile, dental bridges have aesthetic functions too. Modern dental bridges are created to look and function like natural teeth, so getting a dental bridge could make the teeth more appealing and boost one's confidence.
The benefits of dental bridges
There are many benefits to having dental bridges, as they can:
- Restore the function and stability of the teeth
- Preserve the shape of the face
- Prevent existing teeth from shifting out of place
- Distribute chewing and biting force evenly
Getting a dental bridge
At the first dental visit for the bridge, the dentist will prepare the supporting teeth by shaving down the tooth enamel to create room for the crown that will cover them. The dentist then makes molds of the teeth so that the dental lab has a guide to create the bridge, crown, and pontic. The dentist will give the patient a temporary bridge to shield the exposed teeth and gums before the permanent bridge is ready.
During the second appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary bridge, and then place and modify the new one as required to ensure a good fit. Additional visits may be needed to examine the fit of the bite and the metal framework. This typically depends on the patient’s situation. If it is a fixed dental bridge, the dentist will apply a temporary cement for a few weeks to ensure it sits correctly. After a while, a permanent cement will be used.
Dental bridges can survive between five to 15 years of use. With proper maintenance, oral hygiene, and routine dental checkups, a dental bridge can last for over 10 years or more. Once the dental bridge is in place, the patient may need to eat only soft foods until they adjust to the new restoration.
The success of the dental bridge depends on your ability to keep your teeth healthy and strong. This means brushing and flossing regularly to prevent tooth decay and gum disease that could cause tooth loss. Regular dental checkups will also help ensure there are no infections. If you have one or more missing teeth, contact your dentist for a dental restoration.
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