Dental Bridges - A Solution for Tooth Loss
Tooth loss is a serious issue. Even just one tooth, which may not seem like such a big deal (especially if the tooth is toward the back of the mouth and out of view), can have a major impact. Losing a tooth affects your ability to chew your food, which, in turn, can affect your overall nutrition. Food can get stuck in the empty space, increasing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth loss can impact your speech, leading to a lisp. Your teeth can begin to shift into the empty space, throwing off your bite. Depending upon the location, tooth loss can impact your smile, and affect your confidence. You may even find that you smile less, or even not at all. At Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS , we offer several options for replacing missing teeth, including dental bridges.
What is a Dental Bridge?
When you lose a tooth, an empty space in your dentition is left behind. A dental bridge is a restoration designed to “bridge” that gap. Typically made out of ceramic, a bridge can be used to replace up to three consecutive missing teeth. Your replacement tooth, which is known as a pontic tooth, is set between two dental crowns. The dental crowns are set over the healthy teeth adjacent to the empty space (the abutment teeth), which act as an anchor, effectively holding the bridge in place.
Placing Your Dental Bridge
The procedure for placing a dental bridge takes two visits and is similar to placing a dental crown. At your first appointment, we prepare the abutment teeth, a process that is done under a local anesthetic. Preparing the teeth involves removing a portion of the enamel. This is done so that the bridge can fit naturally, and comfortably, in with the rest of the teeth. Once the teeth have been prepared, we then take an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to our lab, where your custom bridge is designed and created. It can take up to two weeks for the bridge to be completed so that a temporary bridge will be placed in the meantime. When the bridge is finished, you will return for your next visit. We will check the bridge for fit and cement it in place.
Care for Your Dental Bridge
A bridge does not require any special care beyond your normal oral care routine. It should be brushed and flossed just like the rest of your natural teeth. It is also important to have professional dental cleanings and dental exams. While bridges cannot experience decay and cavities, they can collect plaque and bacteria, which can contribute to tooth decay of your healthy teeth and also cause gum disease. Bridges can last 15 years or more when properly cared for.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges have several benefits:
||Bridges restore the functions of your mouth.
||Improvements in your oral health, and your overall nutrition.
||Bridges prevent your healthy teeth from shifting, keeping them in proper alignment.
If you are missing teeth, even just one, getting them replaced is essential for restoring the functions of your mouth and giving you back your quality of life. For more information, or to find out if dental bridges are right for you, contact Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS today at (315) 800-5020.