Missing teeth can change change the alignment of other teeth and even change and shape of the lower half of your face.
Having missing teeth can also make it harder for you speak and chew. The space caused by tooth loss often leads to the other adjacent teeth shifting their position. It’s this position change that can result in biting and chewing malfunctions. A dental bridge can solve these problems by filling the gap with artificial teeth either attached to the teeth next to the gap or by dental implants.
What Is a
A dental bridge is a permanent false tooth or teeth thatreplaces missing teeth.
These artificial teeth literally bridge the gap between remaining teeth. Bridges may be placed on your own natural teeth, on implants, or on a combination of the two. They are permanent, so you can’t take them out without a dentist. There are three main types types of bridges, and we will recommend to you the most appropriate variant depending on the location of your missing tooth (or teeth) and their condition.
Traditional dental bridges feature two crowns placed on the teeth on either side of the gap and an artificial tooth or teeth in between. Two teeth that anchor the bridge are called abutment teeth while the artificial teeth are called pontics. Traditional bridges are the most common type of brides; they are usually made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
There is a situation when an abutment tooth is available only on one side of the bridge. In this case, the dentist uses the cantilever bridge. With the cantilever bridge, the dentist applies the same amount of crowns, but the bridge has a different layout. Two abutment crowns are fused together on the same side of missing teeth space with the pontic on the end. Sometimes one crown can be enough, depending on how much support the bridge needs.
A Maryland bridge (also called a resin-bonded bridge) is made up of a set of artificial teeth bonded by special wings. The wings are bonded to the supporting teeth instead of being attached by crowns. Maryland bridges are usually used for missing front teeth that experience less stress from chewing and biting.
What Types of Problems Can Dental Bridges Fix?
The Dental Bridges can fix next teeth problems:
- Fill the space of missing teeth
- Reduce the pressure on the other teeth
- Reduce the chances of getting jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Prevent speech problems
- Keep remaining teeth from shifting
- Prevent changes to the bite as the other teeth can move due to the gap
- Reduce the potential for gum problems and dental decay
- Restore your smile and maintain the shape of your face
Steps Involved in Applying a Dental Bridge
The dental bridge procedure varies depending on the location of missing teeth and the type of dental bridge. Usually it requires two or more visits.
- Step 1
First, a local anesthetic is injected into the gums near your tooth. After that, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel for a crown. Then, an impression of the space left by your missing tooth and the teeth around it is made and sent to the dental laboratory in order to design a customized bridge. Additionally, a temporary bridge is made and worn until the final bridge is ready.
- Step 2
At the second appointment, the temporary bridge is taken off. Then, the permanent bridge is carefully checked, adjusted and cemented to provide a comfortable fit and bite. When the procedure is over, you will receive further care instructions.
Dental bridges are highly durable, last many years, and it is easy to eat with a dental bridge. Start with soft food cut into pieces until you get used to eating with the bridge. Proper brushing, flossing after each meal, and regular dental cleanings will help keep your permanent bridge in peak condition.
For teeth in the front we provide e-max and PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal) bridges. For rear teeth three types of materials are available: e-max, PFM and zirconia.
Dental bridges are very durable and can last a lifetime. With proper brushing, flossing after each meal and regular dental check-ups, it is possible to maintain your new permanent bridge in perfect conditions for many years. A bridge can be destroyed if it loses its support, for example, when an anchoring teeth, gum or bone is damaged by a dental disease. So, keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste.
The procedure of getting a dental bridge varies depending on the location of missing teeth. Getting a dental bridge involves drilling to prepare abutment teeth for a bridge, but the procedure is performed under local anesthesia and is absolutely painless. Only a temporary bridge can sometimes cause a little discomfort and pain. Placing a permanent bridge is usually a painless procedure that doesn’t require anesthesia. You may feel some soreness in the gum after the treatment, but this can be relieved by over-the-counter pain killers.
Post Operative Instructions
Temporary Crowns and Bridges
Temporary crowns are usually made of soft plastic material and can be easily broken by pressure. That is why you should avoid chewy and hard foods (gums, crusty bread, taffy, etc.) when you have temporary crowns in. Try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth until the permanent crown/bridge is put in place. You may experience some sensitivity and soreness around the gum for the first few days after the placement. Brush your teeth as usual, but floss gently. If the temporary crown or bridge does become dislodged or feels uncomfortable, call us for a check-up. Never try to “glue” the temporary restorative devices by yourself. It is recommended to use a special over-the-counter denture adhesive to hold the crown or bridge until you get to our dental office.
Long-term Care of Permanent Crowns and Bridges
After the permanent crowns or bridges are finally placed, you may experience some discomfort and increased sensitivity. For the first days your bite may feel uneven. This is quite normal and should last no more that 2-4 days after the treatment. To maintain your permanent restorative work, it is essential to keep daily oral hygiene because crowns and bridges tend to be more susceptible to decay than natural teeth. To provide additional care and decay prevention, use a fluoride toothpaste or gel. In case of sensitive teeth, a sensitivity toothpaste will help until it gets better. If sensitivity or discomfort increase after day 4 please call our office for an evaluation.
In spite of being very strong and color stable, porcelain-fused-to-zirconia crowns are not everlasting and can be damaged. As a rough guide, avoid doing anything with a crown or bridge that could potentially break your natural teeth: avoid chewy and hard foods and extreme temperatures. For fixed bridges pay special attention to cleaning under the pontic (area where you are missing teeth). To clean this area you can get a bridge threader which is commonly available in pharmacies. The durability and beauty of zirconia crowns depends on how well you maintain them: it is recommended to use an electric toothbrush and floss regularly to remove all plaque. We also suggest avoiding abrasive toothpastes to prevent any micro scratches. Pigments don’t influence zirconia crowns, so you can eat and drink freely. Our zirconia crowns are strong and unlikely to crack. However, observing precautions (avoiding hard and chewy foods, wearing mouth guards in risky situations, etc.) and maintaining proper oral hygiene will help save your crowned teeth healthy for many years to come.
Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center features a comfortable relaxed atmosphere. Our friendly staff and hygienists help put our patients at ease — even the most nervous ones. Our Santa Clarita dentists also provide oral conscious and IV advanced sedation for those patients who need more help to relax.
Whether you need general dentistry services or you have more complex dental needs, our expert dental team serves patients of all ages, and we accept most dental insurance.
No matter where you’re traveling from — Valencia or Stevenson Ranch — Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center is here to serve you. Take a look at the areas we serve below and schedule a complimentary consultation today!