A dental bridge is a fixed restoration used to replace a missing tooth or even more than one tooth but using the adjoining teeth to support the artificial tooth or teeth being placed.
Replacing a missing tooth, or even more, can be easily achieved using a dental bridge. If you have missing teeth you may feel self-conscious about the appearance of your smile, but the impact of a missing tooth goes beyond just that smile.
Other issues that can arise because of missing teeth include additional tooth loss, tooth decay, and more. Your remaining neighboring teeth will drift or shift into the open space, and the gums and surrounding tissue will then become more susceptible to decay and disease.
Our experienced team at DC Dental Spa are proficient with the placement of all dental bridges. Our advanced technology and the friendly atmosphere will help us evaluate your problem to devise a solution quickly. Call 202-333-9282 for an initial consultation and let us help you design a dental bridge and bring back your healthy smile.
The Dental Bridge Components
Dental Bridges, also known as fixed bridges, are often used to replace several missing teeth at once. Bridges are used to close the gap between neighboring teeth. They literally “bridge the gap” between two teeth. Bridges are made up of two major parts. The first part is known as the pontic, which is a false tooth or crown. In cases where more than one tooth needs to be replaced, then multiple pontics are used. The second part of the fixed bridge is the part that will hold the false tooth or pontic in the desired place.
There are a few different types of fixed bridges that can be used to replace missing teeth based on the situation. The type of dental bridge designed will depend on how many teeth are missing, and the condition of the neighboring teeth.
A quite common type of dental bridge involves using crowns on either side of the new artificial tooth. These crowns are fabricated as part of the bridge and therefore create three or more new teeth in a row. Another type of dental bridge involves using metal or ceramic “wings”, or bands, that are fused onto the neighboring teeth to create the new bridge and teeth. Both are viable solutions depending on the health and shape of the existing teeth.
Things to Consider
There are several factors that will be considered when it comes to choosing which dental bridge is best for you; for example, over time the metal bands used to secure the bridge can start to wear away the existing teeth that support the pontic. This bridge may also turn surrounding teeth a grey color over time. Depending on the location of the bridge, you may be concerned with the aesthetics of a metal-band bridge. Bridges can also be either fixed or partial, which means they can be removed.
How Dental Bridges are Made
Bridges will be made from several long-lasting, durable materials such as porcelain and zirconia. The crowns designed to fit over your neighboring abutment teeth are typically made of porcelain. Some patients may choose a metal alloy or even gold, depending on their personal preference. Sometimes glass is used in the porcelain mixture to create a shine, like your natural teeth. Whatever your bridge pontics and crowns are made from, the proper caring for them is vital to their longevity and durability.
The Dental Bridge Process
The actual process of having dental bridges placed can be done in a few simple steps. The first step begins with the reshaping the neighboring abutment teeth to support the bridge. The next step consists of making either a physical or digital impression of the natural teeth so that the dental lab has a mold so they can fabricate the bridge.
The mold, impression, (or digital scan) will be sent to the dental lab, and within a few weeks your new bridge will arrive at our office and be ready to place in your mouth. We will fit the bridge to make sure it is the proper shape, size, color, and texture. Then we will adhere the new bridge to the abutment teeth using dental bonding adhesive. This cement is final, and once this fixed bridge is placed, it will not be removed again.
Aftercare for Dental Bridges
It is important to care for your new dental bridge in the same way you would care for your natural teeth. If not properly cared for your bridge can cause irritation, infection and even decay to your existing teeth. It is important to schedule regular checkups to continue to monitor the condition of your dental bridge to maintain preventative care and to extend the life expectancy.
Special tools may be necessary to clean the bridge including threaded floss, dental picks, and water flossers for good oral hygiene. You need to continue to brush your teeth twice a day to influence the success of your dental bridge.
Dental Bridge Benefits
The benefits of having a dental bridge far outweigh any risks associated with them. The first benefit by having a pontic placed in the space where a tooth is missing will reduce the likelihood of a neighboring tooth drifting into the space.
A second benefit of having a dental bridge includes the completion of a bite. Proper alignment and proper contact of your teeth is essential to reducing the risk of jaw problems, pain, and discomfort, and the premature wearing away of enamel.
Other benefits will include maintaining a more natural look of the face. Missing teeth will cause the skin on the face to sag, which will make you look older than you are. Having a full set of teeth helps you look younger. Of course, having a dental bridge placed in your mouth will also help to improve your self-esteem and confidence.
High Quality Care You Can Trust
At DC Dental Spa our downtown office aims to accommodate your busy schedule. Our entire staff cherishes the gratification in developing strong and lasting relationships with each of our patients. We respect the trust that our patients place in us. We are very intentional and calculated about exercising preventative overall dental health and delivering the enjoyment that comes with your healthy smile. Visit us today at DC Dental Spa, 730 24th St. NW, Suite 9, Washington, DC, 20037, or call 202-333-9282 for an evaluation and consultation to address your missing teeth and see if a dental bridge is a viable option for you.