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Missing teeth can have a tremendous impact on one’s quality of life. Along with affecting a person’s overall appearance and lowering their self-esteem, missing teeth can cause an array of other oral health problems, such as bad breath, difficulty chewing, teeth shifting, jawbone loss, and even tooth fracture. If you are missing a tooth, or even several, the dental team at Dentistry On Monroe is eager to help you restore the health and beauty of your smile. One way to do so is with a dental bridge. Before you schedule a free consultation with Dr. Turner, here is what you should know about how a bridge could benefit you.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A bridge is a type of restoration used to replace missing teeth without the hassle of removing it every day to clean it, like one would be required to do with partial dentures. Bridges are comprised of porcelain or a combination of porcelain and metal that covers the teeth that neighbor an empty space and fills that space with a natural-looking porcelain tooth. Essentially, it is a ceramic tooth that rests on the gums and is held in by being anchored to the neighboring teeth.
How Do I Know if I Need a Dental Bridge?
If you are missing one or more teeth and have teeth that are neighboring the empty space in your mouth, a dental bridge could be an appropriate restorative option for you. However, it is important to note that there are guidelines that dentists should follow to provide this treatment safely and responsibly, such as being mindful of the number of missing teeth in a row and the condition of the neighboring teeth. These are things that Dr. Turner will be happy to discuss with you after you have received a thorough exam and X-rays.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Dental Bridge?
Bridges have significant advantages when compared to partial dentures. The main advantage of a bridge over a partial denture is that it does not have to be removed to clean separately, as it is glued to the neighboring teeth. Additionally, bridges look like your natural teeth and help you chew and smile without feeling self-conscious. There are no metal hooks or clasps on a bridge, so no one will know you have one.
While they have a number of advantages, bridges do come with some disadvantages, too.
- You cannot floss a bridge the way you floss your other teeth or a dental implant. Floss must be threaded underneath the bridge to clean the hard-to-reach areas at the gum line that decay can attack very quickly. This is because a bridge essentially fuses teeth together. The porcelain that covers the neighboring teeth and the porcelain that replaces the missing tooth are all one piece.
- If the bridge’s supporting teeth get attacked by decay or gum disease, then the bridge often needs to be replaced. Sometimes, this replacement approach is not possible because it violates the guidelines of responsible dentistry.
Are Dental Bridges Permanent?
While nothing in dentistry is truly permanent, bridges are a reliable and long-lasting treatment when provided under the right circumstances and when cared for at home with proper brushing and flossing.
How Do You Take Care of a Tooth Bridge?
A dental tooth bridge must be brushed and flossed with special attention, especially around the hard-to-reach gum line areas. Unfortunately, the only place a bridge can decay is a part of the tooth that is difficult to examine or repair. If decay begins at the gum line, it can do significant damage very quickly, thus requiring more extensive and costly treatment to resolve.
How Long Will a Dental Bridge Last?
When done properly and cared for with good hygiene at home, bridges can last for many decades!
How Long Does it Take to Get a Dental Bridge?
At Dentistry on Monroe, dental bridges are often completed in two appointments spaced 2-3 weeks apart. During this time, the teeth are protected by a temporary bridge made during the first appointment. There are times when Dr. Turner and a patient may decide to complete the bridge in three appointments, taking time to shape the gums under the fake tooth before having the ceramic bridge made.
What is the Cost of Getting a Dental Bridge?
The cost of a bridge is very dependent on insurance coverage, and how large the bridge is. It is usually more expensive than a partial denture, but often slightly less expensive than a dental implant.
In Need of a Dental Bridge? Come See Us
With the help of a dental bridge, you can achieve a comfortable, healthy, beautiful smile quickly and conveniently. Contact the friendly team at Dentistry on Monroe to schedule an appointment with Dr. Turner today!