If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be wondering what to do next. One thing is certain: replacing a missing tooth is imperative to the future of your oral health. At Calapooia Family Dental, we specialize in several tooth replacement treatments, including dental bridges, to help restore your chewing ability and improve the esthetics of your smile.
What Is a Bridge?
As you can probably guess, a dental bridge is designed to fill the space created by one or more adjacent missing teeth. This type of appliance literally “bridges” together the two teeth surrounding the open gap. During a relatively minor procedure, your natural teeth are capped with two dental crowns linked together by a pontic (false tooth).
These days, a bridge can also be supported by a series of dental implants. A dental implant is a small titanium post that serves as the root component of a prosthetic tooth. In the case of implant-supported bridges, we typically place an implant post for each missing tooth. It is also possible to suspend a pontic between two implants if necessary.
Dental bridges can:
|Restore the aesthetics of your smile
|Restore your ability to chew and speak properly
|Help maintain a more youthful facial appearance
|Correct a malocclusion or misaligned bite
|Prevent your remaining teeth from shifting out of the proper position
The Dental Bridge Process
Much like dental crowns, the bridge process is broken up into several appointments. It all begins with a comprehensive exam during your initial consultation. Your exam may include x-rays, CBCT, and other advanced diagnostic tools to determine if a bridge is right for you.
The next step involves treatment planning. The bridge procedure usually takes two appointments: one to prepare the teeth and one to place the bridge. During the first appointment, we will completely reshape each tooth receiving a dental crown.
Once the teeth are reshaped, we will take an impression of the area. Your impression will be used to fabricate your final bridge, typically using porcelain or zirconia. Both of these materials are durable and esthetically-pleasing. The fabrication process usually takes several weeks to complete.
After your bridge is ready, we can schedule your final appointment. During this visit, we will remove your temporary restoration (if you have one), and check the margins of your permanent bridge. The goal is to ensure your new restoration is comfortable and effective. Once we achieve the perfect fit, we will permanently bond the bridge to your teeth using special dental cement.
Maintaining a Dental Bridge
Bridges are designed to last for many years with proper care and maintenance. Be sure to pay special attention to this area of your mouth during your daily oral hygiene routine. We may recommend a special type of floss that is easier to thread in between your bridge and gums. Removing food debris, plaque, and bacteria from underneath your restoration is vital to your oral health. Regular checkups and cleanings are also a crucial part of bridge maintenance.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are missing one or more teeth, a dental bridge may be the ideal solution! Call (541) 936-9222 to schedule your consultation now!