If you have missing teeth, dental bridges can be a safe, effective way of restoring your smile and ensuring that your teeth function they way they should. From having the ability to chew your food properly to being able to present an open, confident smile to the world, a dental bridge can boost your quality of life.
What Is A Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is exactly what it sounds like: it is a way of bridging a gap in your teeth. If you have missing teeth, we fill that space with a bridge made of one or more artificial teeth. The bridge is held in place with crowns on the healthy teeth on either side of the gap.
When Should I Consider Getting A Dental Bridge?
People can have missing teeth for a variety of reasons. It can result from dental decay or gum disease, or from accidental causes. Some people are born with congenital dental conditions that result in one or more teeth not emerging at all.
To understand why this is a problem, it is important to see how the teeth work together. We do not see each tooth as its own entity: instead, your gums and your teeth all come together to form a whole unit that, under normal circumstances, functions efficiently.
When any element is missing or malfunctioning, the unit doesn’t work as well as it should – and if those missing or unhealthy parts are not fixed, other parts can start to break down. When a tooth is missing, the teeth on either side – and even the teeth in the other jaw – can start to lean into the empty space. The end result could be a mouthful of misaligned teeth that cause pain, gum complications, and difficulty chewing.
How Is A Dental Bridge Done?
There are different kinds of dental bridges, and the one you get will depend on how many teeth are missing and the area of your jaw that is affected. Most dental bridges have two main components: the abutment teeth, which secure the bridge on both sides, and the pontics, which are the false teeth forming the bridge itself.
Your dental bridge will be done in several steps:
- During the initial visit, we do an assessment to determine which type of bridge is best for you. This involves x-rays and a dental examination to determine the overall state of your oral health.
- We reshape the abutment teeth to make room for the crowns.
- We take impressions of your teeth and/or digital images of your teeth. The dental lab uses these to create bridge teeth that match your dental profile.
- When everything is ready, we will install your bridge and ensure that it is comfortable and well-functioning. Adjustments will be made if needed.
How Will I Know If My Dental Bridge Needs Repair Or Replacement?
Dental bridges are a long-term solution to missing teeth, and can stay in place with no complications for over ten years. Some factors that can reduce their comfort and effectiveness include the following:
- Lack of proper dental care, including daily flossing and brushing, and regular visits to your dentist
- Habits that put stress on your teeth, such as grinding the teeth, chewing on pens, and clenching the jaw
- Changes to the abutment teeth that support the bridge
You should contact your dentist as soon as possible if:
- Your dental bridge feels loose
- You see or feel a crack or chip
- You feel sensitivity when eating, drinking or brushing your teeth
- You have a sensation of food getting trapped in or under your teeth
Your dentist will assess the damage and determine the cause, and then recommend a plan of action. In some cases, the bridge may need nothing more than adjustment and tightening. A chip in the porcelain can often be fixed with a simple surface repair.
If the bridge itself is broken, or if there is a problem with one of the abutment teeth, you may need to have the bridge removed and replaced.
Regardless of the extent of repairs needed, it is important to have the work done quickly, in order to treat any dental decay that may have started and to prevent a worsening of the problem.
How Do I Get Started?
If you have missing teeth and you are looking for a safe, effective solution that will last, contact us today. Our first step is to get to know you, learn about your dental history, and assess the state of your dental health. From there, we can determine which dental treatments are best for you.
If dental bridges are the recommended course of action, ArtOfDentistry will start the process of preparing you for the procedure. This includes answering any questions you may have so you can be comfortable with the work that is being done.
To get started, call us at 416-927-7677, or fill in our convenient contact form.