Dental bridges are a valuable tool when a patient is faced with the loss of one or more teeth. The term describes exactly what this dental prosthesis does … it bridges the gap created when teeth are missing. Your dentist will recommend a bridge to promote the ability to chew correctly, speak clearly, and to allow you to smile and laugh without embarrassment.
How Does a Dental Bridge Work?
There are different types of bridges … your dentist will prescribe the one to best fit your dental needs. But many patients will fall into the category that requires a traditional bridge.
The teeth adjacent to missing teeth are prepared for dental crowns … these teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The unit(s) in between are called pontics. Your first treatment visit will involve removing as much of the abutment teeth needed for crown preparation; dental impressions will follow that will allow the dental lab to make the bridge; and a temporary will be placed over treated teeth until the bridge can be placed.
Dental bridgework can take a couple of weeks to fabricate. On your next dental visit, temporaries are removed and your new bridge is tried in. The patient should anticipate the need for adjustments. Framework may require tweaking for comfort and a proper fit. If you selected a fixed bridge, your dentist may hold off on permanently cementing in until you have had time for needed adjustments.
What Can I Expect After My Bridge is in Place?
Everyone is different. You may adjust easily and begin enjoying the benefits of your dental bridge immediately. Initially, soft foods are recommended while you learn to eat with your new “teeth”. If speaking feels awkward, try practicing at home in front of a mirror. This type of adjusting should only take a few days.
Never attempt to modify your bridge on your own. Your dentist expects you may require a few dental visits to make sure your bridge fits and functions appropriately.
Taking care of your investment is important. Follow the instructions issued to care for your bridge.
Finally, take good care of your remaining biological teeth. Brush and floss daily; eat a healthy diet; and visit the office of Dr. John Morris regularly for cleaning and dental exam.