If you have been scheduled to receive dental bridges, it is normal to be worried about how long they will last. With adequate care, dental bridges can survive up to a decade of regular use. However, because people’s dental care habits and diets have significant effects on the lifespan of these devices, it is hard…
Getting a Dental Bridge: What is the Process?
Teeth are similar to the rest of the body — with aging, they are susceptible to several health conditions that can hamper their appearance and functionality. People who are dissatisfied with their appearance because of severe tooth decay or tooth loss could consider dental bridges as their preferred method of restoration. The following are details about the process of getting dental bridges.
A dental bridge is an artificial device used for filling the space left by one or more missing teeth. The bridge comes installed with dental crowns on either side of the bridge. The crown is also called a cap and attaches to the teeth on adjacent sides of the gap. A false tooth or set of teeth then fills the space left by the missing tooth.
Assessing your needs
The dentist may recommend bridges due to tooth loss, which could be caused by periodontal disease, or physical trauma caused by accident or sports. If the missing tooth is not substituted in time, the remaining teeth may shift into the space, altering the normal bite. A misaligned bite can also lead to gum disease or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.
Selecting the right type
There are three major variants of bridges: Traditional, cantilever, and Maryland. A traditional bridge has a crown placed on either side of the substitute tooth. A cantilever bridge is a prosthetic tooth attached to a single crown, and a Maryland bridge is an artificial tooth cemented to existing teeth on either side.
Desensitizing and reshaping
Getting a dental bridge involves multiple stages and requires more than one dental appointment. To start the process, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic to the gum tissues surrounding the affected tooth. The dentist then proceeds to file the teeth to ease placement of the crown. The crowns have to be perfectly shaped to keep the bridge in position.
Fitting the replacement tooth
After reshaping the teeth, the dentist will create an impression of the lost tooth and the neighboring teeth. The impression will be transferred to a dental lab where they will build a custom bridge. Until this process is complete and the bridge is returned to the dentist, you will receive a temporary restoration to fill the gap.
When the custom-built bridge is ready, you will need to return to the dentist’s office to have it installed. This process often entails ensuring that the bridge aligns properly with your bite.
Caring for the bridge
The typical lifetime of dental bridges is 10 years with adequate oral care. The major reason for untimely bridge failure is the formation of a cavity on the crowned teeth. Therefore, proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing twice daily, and regular dental checkups are essential to preserve the integrity of the dental bridge.
If you think you are a candidate for a dental bridge or have other dental health issues, it is best to book an appointment as soon as possible with a dentist for a consultation.
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