What Are Dental Bridges?
Tooth loss affects more than just the look of your smile. Even the loss of a single tooth can have a dramatic effect on your overall health. It can result in difficulties with speaking and eating and may result in changes to how your upper and lower teeth bite together. Surrounding teeth may begin to drift into open spaces left within the arch by lost teeth. This movement can dramatically affect the alignment of your teeth. A common method for replacing missing teeth, dental bridges can restore health and a natural appearance to your grin.
Offered as both fixed or removable options, dental bridges can fill open spaces left by the loss of natural teeth. Dental bridges are made of two or more crowns that are molded together and rely on the teeth on either side of the gap to remain anchored in place. With a bridge, you can eat and speak with greater ease and prevent bite changes caused by shifting teeth. Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress wants to help you if you have lost a tooth. Call us today to make an appointment with our dentist to find out more about custom fixed and removable dental bridges. These appliances, made from a range of materials, may be the best solution to recover your best smile after tooth loss.
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Is a Dental Bridge Right for Me?
Tooth loss is far more than just a cosmetic issue. Your general well-being may be affected since tooth loss can keep you from eating a nutritious diet and speaking with confidence as it changes how your teeth bite together. With a dental bridge, you can recover from the loss of one or more teeth in a row or within the same area of the mouth. Not only do these restorations restore functionality and help redistribute biting forces in the mouth, they also help you maintain a natural shape in your face and jaw. Bridges can support surrounding teeth by ensuring they stay in their proper places, rather than shifting to fill gaps in your smile.
Bridges offer a natural-looking appearance to help you regain confidence and are custom-colored and shaped to blend well with your natural teeth. They may be made up of two or more dental crowns that have been molded together to form a single unit before the bridge is placed. In a fixed bridge placement procedure, each end (abutments) is permanently bonded over neighboring teeth or to dental implants. When removable bridges are provided, they attach to supporting teeth using plastic or metal clasps. The center portion of a bridge (pontic) is what replaces the missing tooth or teeth. This portion looks like it rises up from the gumline to give you a natural appearance.
At Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress, our dentist can help you decide which type of dental bridge suits your needs, budget, and cosmetic goals. We can also advise you on whether your existing teeth are able to provide the kind of strength needed to support your tooth replacement. Bridges made in our office or partner lab may be removable or fixed, Maryland-bonded, cantilever, and implant-supported and are made of high-quality porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic, and all-metal materials.
How Are Dental Bridges Placed?
Your comfort and safety are our top priorities during your bridge procedure. To set you at ease, sedation dentistry options can also be discussed if you feel nervous about your treatment. We start the bridge procedure by numbing the areas receiving treatment and then removing a small amount of enamel from the teeth we have chosen as anchoring teeth to support your bridge. The removal of this enamel lets the ends of the bridge fit over these teeth and provide strong anchors for your bridge. We will then take an impression of the area, which will be sent off to our partner dental lab. They will custom-make your bridge to fit your unique specifications and needs over the next 1 – 2 weeks. While you wait for your new bridge, we will install a temporary bridge to help you maintain the space and enable oral function. Once your permanent bridge arrives in our office, you will return so we can bond it permanently in place or attach it firmly to your dental implants. At that time, we will check to make sure your bite is comfortable and make any needed adjustments.
A removable bridge requires less prep work to your teeth. A simpler procedure, we will take an impression of the missing tooth area and send the images off to our partner dental lab to create your custom-made bridge. Once they complete your bridge, you'll come back to our office to try it on and make sure it is a comfortable fit. Our dentist can adjust it as needed to make sure it fits well.
How Can I Care for My Dental Bridge?
If you received anesthesia for your bridge procedure through sedation dentistry or other options, you should wait to eat until all the feeling has returned to your mouth. Some tooth sensitivity may be present after your bridge prep procedure, but this usually resolves once the permanent bridge is placed. Call us right away if your temporary or permanent bridge feels or becomes loose. It is important that it is secured or reattached as soon as possible. Your temporary appliance is maintaining the space for your new permanent bridge, and if it does not remain in place, changes in teeth positioning may occur, disrupting the placement of your new bridge.
It is very important to keep your bridge free of plaque and food debris in order to protect the underlying teeth, bone, and gums. It is possible for the teeth that are now supporting your bridge to develop cavities, so it is essential to continue to follow daily flossing and brushing habits to protect your smile. Flossing around a bridge is a different process than between natural teeth, so we will help you learn how to most effectively clean under and around your bridge. If you take proper care of it, your new bridge may last you for several years. Routine appointments for cleaning and exams will help us ensure your bridge serves your smile for as long as possible, and let us monitor the health and condition of your full smile at the same time.
Will My Insurance Cover a Dental Bridge?
Sometimes, dental bridges are covered, at least in part, by dental insurance. Before we move forward with your procedure, our business team will get in touch with your provider to get your full schedule of benefits. As a provider for most PPO dental insurance plans, Made Ya Smile will happily file your insurance claim for you. It is important to us that we help you receive the best possible smile care, and since that is a priority of ours we will work to maximize your benefits or find treatment solutions that meet your needs and budget. Our Houston, TX practice accepts serval convenient payment methods. We can also provide information on low-interest financing options with our financing partner, CareCredit®.
Dental Bridge FAQ
How long does it take for my dental bridge to feel normal?
Once you get your dental bridge placed at our Houston, TX office, you can expect it to take about two weeks for it to feel normal. During this time period, we suggest avoiding hot and cold foods or beverages and recommend using sensitive tooth toothpaste to help with the healing process.
How long will my bridge last?
One of the great things about dental bridges is their longevity. Your new dental bridge should last between 10 – 15 years or even longer. Maintaining a good at-home oral hygiene routine, keeping up with your twice-yearly dental cleanings, and visiting our office when preventative care is needed can help your bridge last for years to come.
How do I clean under my fixed dental bridge?
Your dental bridge joins your teeth together; for this reason, you cannot floss as you generally would. We suggest using a floss threader or super floss. If you have any questions or concerns about creating a good oral hygiene routine, our team can help!
Restore Your Smile After Tooth Loss
Tooth loss, even just one, can majorly impact your health, confidence, oral function, and the look of your smile. It is important to treat tooth loss early to avoid future, more extensive and costly dental work. Dental bridge restorations are a common and effective method to replace lost teeth and return your confident grin to you. Our dentist is highly skilled and happy to help you regain your optimal oral health by providing a fixed or removable bridge in the custom material and shape you need for your smile. Call one of our friendly staff members at Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress and discover how a dental bridge can help you.