Whether you’re missing one tooth or several, not having all your teeth can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, we believe everyone deserves to have a happy and confident smile. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer from missing teeth. If you are only missing one or two teeth, one option your dentist will likely give you is to get a dental bridge.
A dental bridge is a false tooth that is held in place by the natural teeth on either side of the false tooth. The false tooth or teeth are held in place by dental crowns that are cemented onto the two anchored teeth, creating a “bridge” between the gap in your mouth. Your dentist can match the color of the fake tooth to the rest of your teeth so that when the procedure is finished, you’re left with a completely natural looking smile. In addition to giving you more confidence, a dental bridge will also make chewing food easier, improve your bite, and maintain your face’s natural shape.
While this treatment will take several visits to the dentist, it is a fairly simple and painless procedure. At your first appointment, you will be given a local anesthesia to ensure you don’t feel any discomfort throughout the procedure. Next, your dentist will have to slightly reshape the two natural teeth that will serve as the anchor for the bridge. (These are called your abutment teeth.) Once these teeth have been reshaped, dental impressions will be taken so that the fake tooth will match your natural teeth perfectly. Finally, a temporary bridge will be put in the gap while you wait for the permanent bridge to be ready. This usually takes a couple of weeks.
At your second appointment, the temporary bridge will be removed and your dentist will use dental cement to bond your permanent dental bridge in your mouth. Once it’s done, dental bridges can last more than 10 years. You may experience some slight discomfort and soreness for a few days after the procedure, and it may take a couple of weeks for the bridge to feel completely comfortable. Talk to your dentist about pain management and call immediately if you experience severe pain.
It’s important to maintain healthy oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing once a day to prevent cavities forming in the crowned teeth, which can shorten the life of your bridge. We also recommend avoiding bad dental habits such as eating lots of sticky and/or sugary candies and using tobacco products.
Finally, if you have a dental bridge or are considering getting one to fix the gap in your mouth, it is more important than ever to visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning. If you are looking for a dentist, we would love to serve you at Cornerstone Family Dentistry, so please make an appointment with us today!