Bridges to Better Dental Health
For patients with gaps due to lost or deteriorating teeth, dental bridges help to restore the appearance and functionality of teeth. An effective solution for preserving existing teeth while preventing further damage, bridges are a simple choice for giving you restored confidence in your appearance. R+R Dental designs and applies a variety of dental solutions and offers other oral health services at their Hicksville location.
Are Dental Bridges Right for Me?
A dental bridge is a long-term solution to filling gaps left in your smile due to missing teeth. Wondering how to restore your smile may weigh heavily on your mind. Living without essential tooth structures is challenging whether you’ve had teeth removed due to infection or trauma that resulted in tooth loss.
Being able to smile, talk, and eat without worrying about tooth gaps is one reason patients seek artificial tooth replacements. Whether in the form of a bridge, dentures, or implants, replacing missing teeth gives patients a renewed sense of confidence and a functional set of teeth for chewing and eating.
If you are unsure about undergoing extensive surgical intervention to install implants, this treatment offers a simpler solution for filling gaps. Rather than removing additional teeth to accommodate dentures, you can take conservative action in replacing damaged teeth that also protects existing healthy teeth.
Your bridge may last anywhere from five to 15 years depending on how well you care for it and how often you visit your dentist for preventative care.
What Are the Benefits of Bridges?
Beyond restoring your mouth to a natural appearance, other benefits include avoiding surgical intervention and preserving existing teeth. Although other methods of tooth replacement may last longer or require fewer office visits, the benefits of choosing a bridge are clear.
With dental implants, one alternative to the more temporary bridge option, surgically implanted metal receivers drill into the jaw bone. Once this area heals, and the bone molds to the implant, artificial teeth insert into the gums. This process takes much more time than receiving a dental bridge and involves a recovery process since the procedure is surgical.
Another common alternative to bridges is either a complete or partial set of dentures. Like a bridge, a partial set of dentures helps to fill gaps caused by missing teeth. The two terms often apply interchangeably regarding solutions for filling in areas where teeth are missing. However, a full set of dentures requires that the patient has no remaining natural teeth.
To accommodate a full set of dentures, a patient would undergo removal of any remaining teeth, healthy or otherwise. Because many patients prefer to keep their remaining teeth, a bridge offers a solution that prevents further tooth loss while giving improved appearance and function to your original teeth.
A further benefit of wearing a bridge as opposed to a full set of dentures is that they fit the mouth more closely than dentures. Often, patients have difficulty adjusting to wearing dentures, and depending on the adhesive method used, slippage may occur during daily wear.
What Can I Expect During the Procedure?
A preliminary visit with Dr. Richer or Dr. Rivera will help you understand the process involved in receiving a dental bridge. In general, at least three office visits will allow for sufficient preparation, examination, and placement of your restorative device.
Because bridges attach to the teeth adjacent to a gap, those teeth must undergo preparation before application of the bridge. This site prep is like the treatment done to teeth that receive crowns and may involve removing the enamel from the surface of the teeth. In general, it is preferable to prepare teeth that would otherwise need crowns since placing a bridge requires them.
Once the teeth are prepared, and some possibly removed to allow for optimum placement, your dentist will create impressions of the area. Since the bridge is designed to conform perfectly into the gap between teeth, its fit prevents painful rubbing on your gums or cheek tissues.
Between appointments, while you await your final bridge device, your dentist will apply a temporary bridge to close the gap and prepare you for the final step of the process. Once the final bridge is fabricated, from porcelain and metal, you will have a final office visit to place it in the prepared area.
Still unsure whether a dental bridge is the right solution for your oral health? For more information on having a dental bridge fitted, visit R+R Dental and see Dr. Michael Richer or Dr. Nadia Rivera in their Hicksville, NY office.