When a tooth is pulled out due to damage or decay, a dental restoration may include a bridge to replace the tooth. It involves covering the teeth on either side of the empty space with a crown and attaching a false tooth between them to literally "bridge" the gap. This restorative method has been popular for many years. It can typically be done in one or two appointments and can replace missing teeth in the front or back of the mouth.
Some common facts people need to know about this appliance are who needs one, what the process for placing it entails and how it is maintained for daily use.
Need for a dental bridge
There are many benefits of replacing teeth lost to an accident or decay. When a tooth has been missing for a while, other teeth start to drift into the empty space. This can cause issues with the person's bite. The longer this situation goes on, the higher the possibility becomes that a dental restoration cannot be carried out. Therefore, it is prudent to have a bridge completed as soon after a tooth is pulled as possible.
Process of getting a dental bridge
When an individual comes in for this procedure, the dentist removes some tooth structure from the teeth on either side of the empty space. An impression is taken at this point so that the permanent restoration can be made from the mold. The patient typically wears a temporary bridge for a few weeks, but in some cases, the permanent one may be made on the same day. The patient should alert the dentist as soon as possible if temporary crowns come off because any movement of the teeth can prevent a proper fit of the permanent bridge.
Home care for a dental bridge
Patients must be diligent about caring for all teeth that have crowns but especially for those with bridges. The teeth are soldered together so a patient cannot floss these like normal teeth. Instead, a floss threader is used to weave under the false tooth and clean the area well. The patient must be willing to take proper care of the bridge so that cavities do not start around the crown margins.
Follow-up care for a dental bridge
It is important that patients see their dentist regularly to monitor all aspects of dental care. Patients who have a bridge need regular X-rays taken of this area so the dentist can check for any areas of concern. If the patient is not following proper hygiene habits at home, the dentist or hygienist can review the brushing and flossing techniques.
While a bridge can be a restorative option that works for many patients, there must be a willingness to maintain it over a period of time. The benefits of replacing a missing tooth must be stressed, as well as the ways this dental restoration can directly benefit the patient's situation. For those thinking about this treatment option, a discussion with a dentist about all available replacement alternatives is recommended.
Request an appointment here: https://familydentistphoenix.com or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at (602) 547-9007 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.