A dental bridge is a type of tooth replacement that can replace between 1-3 consecutive missing teeth. They can be made of various materials such as porcelain, zirconia, metal, or porcelain fused to metal. The abutment teeth on either side of the gap receive dental crowns and then a pontic (false tooth) is suspended in the gap and attached to the dental crowns on the abutment teeth.
A dental bridge can restore the appearance, function, and structure of missing teeth, making it easier to speak clearly and chew your food. By filling the space of the missing tooth, you prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting and leaning into the space which can cause many orthodontic problems. Interested in dental bridges? Contact us at All Smiles Dental Studio in Cincinnati today to schedule a consultation.
The most common alternative to a fixed dental bridge is a removable partial denture.
In addition to impressions or scans, Dr. Beth Hanks will take pictures of your teeth to ensure that your crown matches your existing teeth perfectly. Thanks to color matching, your porcelain crown will look just like a natural tooth.
The abutment teeth need to be filed down before being fitted with dental crowns. Dental crowns have a thickness of about 2 mm and will not fit without a small amount of enamel being filed down.
After the abutment teeth have been prepped, we will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab that will construct your dental bridge. The bridge will blend with your natural teeth because it will match the impressions that were taken. While you wait for your official bridge, you’ll receive a temporary one to protect your teeth.
Once your official bridge is ready, you will have a trial fitting to check how it fits with your bite and see if it is uncomfortable or too loose. We can make any necessary adjustments at our Cincinnati office. Otherwise, if the bridge fits perfectly, we can cement it into place.
You should have adequate jaw bone density to be a good candidate for a dental bridge.
Dental bridges are permanent restorations in the sense that they are fixed into place and can only be removed at the dentist. However, they do not last forever and will need to be replaced over time. The average lifespan of a dental bridge is between 5-15 years but with proper care, you can expect your bridge to last for up to 10 years.
No, a dental bridge procedure is not painful. When we prepare your teeth for the dental crowns by filing them down, we administer a local anesthetic so you don’t feel any pain. You’ll wear a temporary bridge for a few weeks until your permanent one is ready and then it will be cemented into place at our Cincinnati dental office.
It’s unlikely you will feel any pain even after the anesthesia wears off but the bridge might cause some mouth soreness at first. This typically only lasts a few days and can be relieved with mild pain relief medication.
If the pain persists for more than a week or is severe, you should contact us right away as this could be a sign of infection, an ill-fitting bridge, a bite that is too high, or decay under a dental crown.