Many people tend to ignore a single missing tooth, especially when it is in a location that does not affect your smile. However, the truth is that even a single missing tooth can have tremendous effects on your oral health. Food can become lodged in the space, and may be difficult to get rid of. The area can also be difficult to keep clean, providing a perfect home for oral bacteria to thrive in. The adjacent teeth may shift into space, which can have a significant impact on the alignment of your bite. At National Dental Hicksville, we have several options for replacing missing teeth. One of these options available to you is a bridge.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Just like a road bridge is designed to span a gap (whether it’s a river, another road, or something else) between two areas of land, a dental bridge is designed to span a gap left behind by a missing tooth (it can be used to replace up to 3 missing teeth). Frequently made out of ceramic, a bridge is a restoration that consists of your replacement tooth, called a pontic tooth, surrounded on either side by crowns. The crowns anchor your bridge onto the adjacent healthy teeth, securing the restoration in place.
The Placement of Your Dental Bridge
Placing a bridge is similar to the placement of dental crowns. The two adjacent teeth are trimmed, a process that involves the removal of some of their enamel. By trimming the teeth, enough space is created for your bridge to fit into the rest of your teeth naturally and comfortably. This is done under a local anesthetic, which will ensure that you feel no discomfort throughout the procedure.
Once your teeth have been trimmed, we then take an impression of your mouth. The impression is used to design your custom bridge. It is then fabricated. This is done in our lab. The process can take up to two weeks, during which time you will be provided with a temporary restoration. This will help to restore the functions of your mouth and protect the prepared teeth. When your bridge is ready, it is checked for fit, and to make sure that the ceramic matches the color of the rest of your teeth. It is then cemented into place.
How to Take Care of Your Dental Bridge
It is important that you take care of your bridge just as you would care for the rest of your natural teeth. While ceramic cannot experience decay, it can still collect plaque and bacteria that can quickly lead to gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing each day is important to prevent this buildup. Twice yearly dental visits are critical. During these visits, the condition of your bridge will be examined along with the rest of your mouth. You should also avoid biting down on or chewing on anything exceptionally hard, which will help you to avoid chipping or fracturing the ceramic. With proper care, your bridge can last 20 years or more.
Benefits of a Bridge
There are several benefits that come with a bridge:
- Improved eating and speech.
- Improved digestion.
- Your smile is restored.
- Your teeth are kept in proper alignment.
- Better oral health.
Do not ignore tooth loss, even if it is only one tooth. Contact National Dental Hicksville today at (516) 629-5086 to find out if a bridge is right for you.