What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge literally "bridges" the gap between two healthy teeth (or two dental implants), thereby restoring both the function and appearance of the smile as a whole.
But you are no doubt wondering, 'how, exactly, does this procedure work?" Well, our Kelowna dentists are here to explain all of this to you.
During the assessment portion of the appointment, your dentist will talk to you about your options for replacing your missing teeth. In addition to a dental bridge, dentures and dental implants may also be considered.
Based on your needs and financial situation, your dentist will make a recommendation for you. If you choose a dental bridge, the following procedures will be followed to begin your treatment:
Preparation & Temporary Bridge Placement
Dental bridges are attached to the healthy teeth on either side of a gap in order to fill the space. The dentist must first shape the abutment teeth in order for them to be properly positioned for the placement of the bridge. A local anesthetic will be administered to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout this procedure.
After the dentist has finished shaping your teeth, an impression of the shaped teeth will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory, along with a sample of your teeth's colour. Technicians will build the bridge based on the impressions made there. The colour, size, and shape of your new prosthetic teeth will be closely matched to those of your natural teeth.
While your permanent bridge is being built, you may be provided with a temporary bridge to wear so that you are comfortable in the meantime.
Permanent Bridge Placement
It will be possible to install your new, custom-made bridge once it has been completed. During this procedure, a local anesthetic will be administered to ensure that you remain comfortable.
The temporary bridge will be removed by the dentist, who will then carefully clean the teeth surrounding the gap. When the dental bridge is attached to the abutment teeth, dental cement will typically be used to hold it in place.
After that, the dentist will show you how the bridge looks in your mouth and ask you to practice biting down on it a few times before proceeding with the procedure. You should expect it to feel strange at first, but this will pass quickly.
Once your bridge is in place, you can care for it in the same way that you would your natural teeth. If you maintain your dental bridge properly with regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and checkups, it should last for many years.