Dental bridges can be used to replace missing teeth. Today, our Kelowna dentists explain how the procedure works.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge uses artifical teeth to literally "bridge" the gap between two healthy teeth (or two dental implants), helping to restore both the function and the appearance of the smile as a whole as a result of the procedure.
Here is how the dental bridge procedure works:
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.
Your dentist will make a recommendation for you based on your oral health requirements and financial constraints.
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 teeth on either side of the area to be bridged in order for the bridge to fit properly. A local anesthetic will be administered to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout the abutment shaping procedure.
Once the dentist has completed the shaping process, an impression of the shaped teeth will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory, along with a sample of the colour of your teeth. Technicians will then create artificial teeth to closely match the colour, size, and shape 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.
Your dentist will 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.
Once this is completed, the dentist will show you what the bridge looks like in your mouth and ask you to practice biting down with it a few times before completing the procedure. At first, your new bridge might feel a bit strange, but this feeling should pass within a few days as your mouth adjusts.
Once your bridge has been installed, you can take care of it in the same way that you would take care of your natural teeth. Your dental bridge will likely last for many years if you maintain it properly with regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and checkups.