Everything You Need to Know About Dental Bridges
If you’ve experienced tooth loss, whether due to an injury, illness or other medical condition, you may be in search of options to restore your smile and confidence. Missing teeth can create unsightly gaps, but more importantly they can also present challenges in speech and your ability to eat leaving you with pain and jaw discomfort. Fortunately, there are easy and effective solutions for this problem. The most common one is to have a dental bridge placed in your mouth.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a great solution for those with missing teeth or gaps that are causing other teeth to become loose. It’s essentially a replacement tooth that fills in the space where something is missing both restoring the tooth and creating a more natural appearance. There are four main types of bridges that your dentist will choose from to best suit your situation. They are:
- Traditional Bridge – This is the most common type of bridge. It’s made up of one or more fake teeth that are held in place with crowns that are cemented to the teeth surrounding the gap.
- Cantilever Bridge – This is a bridge that’s supported by a crown on only one side.
- Implant-Supported Bridge – This design is often used when there are multiple teeth missing. The bridge is held in place by implants that are secured to the jawbone to ensure maximum stability.
- Maryland Bridge – These bridges offer a more conservative approach, as they use a porcelain or metal framework to hold a fake tooth in place. The downside to these is that they’re not as strong as other bridges that are cemented in, so this design won’t hold up with teeth that have a lot of biting force.
Dental bridges offer patients a number of benefits through a simple procedure. They provide appealing cosmetic results to create a uniform, gap-free smile. They also give patients back their ability to chew without the pain and discomfort of an altered bite. Speech can also be impacted by a missing tooth, but filling it in with a bridge allows you to regain your natural speaking abilities and rhythms without impairment.
Dental bridge placement isn’t a surgical procedure, so you’ll remain awake throughout the treatment. On the day of treatment, your dentist will simply numb the area of your mouth that’s being worked on with topical gel and then inject local anesthetic into the gums. Before work begins though, imprints and measurements will be taken of your mouth to appropriately create your dental bridge to comfortably fit in your mouth alongside your other teeth. This process is usually done by biting down on a soft piece of foam to create an imprint. If your teeth have been compromised, your dentist may place temporary crowns in your mouth to protect your teeth as you wait for the bridge to be created.
During the actual placement procedure, the temporary crowns will be removed and replaced with cement that holds the bridge in place. You’ll feel little to no pain during this process. But, you can expect to have your mouth open for quite a long time, so after, you may feel some soreness or discomfort in your jaw.
The great thing about dental bridges is that the recovery time from the procedure is minimal. Most patients can even eat normally as soon as their bridges are fitted and secured. Your smile and bite will be restored with ease! If you do feel any pain at all once the bridge is in place, there may be a rough patch on the bridge itself in which case your dentist can easy resolve the situation through simple adjustments.
Missing teeth don’t have to impact your smile. With the right treatment, you can restore your confidence and the overall condition of your mouth without a major procedure.