A dental bridge is a restorative dental solution that replaces one or more lost teeth for a healthier and more functional smile. Bridges are either permanently attached, also known as fixed bridges, or they can be removable. Dr. Sahil Goyal offers several of dental bridges to accommodate patients and their different needs. After an exam, he will determine which one is right for you. No matter which one you get, he will design a natural looking dental bridge in Frederick, MD that will blend in with the rest of your smile.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a custom made, single fixture that is installed along the arch to replace one or more teeth. On each end of the bridge is a dental crown with the false teeth (the pontics) in between them. The crowns are attached to anchor teeth, or abutment teeth, to hold the restorating firmly in place. There are several types of dental bridges available:
- Removable Dental Bridge: It is made up of pontics that are secured to a framework with metal clasps. The clasps rest on your remaining teeth to hold the prosthesis in place. This is recommended for short term use as it is not very sturdy.
- Traditional Dental Bridge: It is made up of two dental crowns located on each end with the pontic(s) located in the middle. The dentist will remove some enamel from the two teeth adjacent to the gap to prepare them for the dental crowns. This is considered a fixed bridge since the crowns will be cemented to the adjacent teeth.
- Cantilever Bridge: This is exactly like a traditional fixed bridge however it will only use one abutment tooth. The bridge will only have a dental crown on one end. Dentists only use this option when only one adjacent tooth is available.
- Maryland Bridge: This is a unique bridge because the pontic appears to have metal “wings” attached to it. This metal framework is bonded to the back side of two adjacent teeth.
- Implant Supported Bridge: Patients missing two or more teeth can benefits from dental implants. This solution involves using implants to secure the bridge instead of healthy, remaining teeth. If you would like to learn more about how dental implants work, see Dental Implants.
What to Expect During the Bridge Process
The dental bridge procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete.Typically, during a routine check up your dentist will discover damage to a tooth that may require a dental bridge. If you have a missing tooth, during your consult, Dr. Goyal may suggest a dental bridge also. He will discuss all your treatment options and take x-rays to prepare for the procedure.
At the next appoint, Dr. Goyal will prepare the teeth teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth are the called the abutment teeth. This step involves removing a portion of the enamel and reducing the size of the teeth. This is done to ensure that the teeth are smooth for the restoration. It also ensures there is space for the bridge to fit comfortably.
Once the dentist prepares the teeth, he will take dental impressions. We will use the impressions to create molds and then send them to a lab where they will construct the dental bridge. We will also use impressions to make temporary dental restorations to protect your teeth until the bridge is ready. This will help you eat, speak, and smile normally while waiting.
At your last appointment, Dr. Goyal will try the bridge on to ensure a proper fit. He will make any adjustments if necessary. Then he will cement the dental bridge in place with dental adhesive.
Post Dental Bridge Procedure
Since the teeth will be anesthetized for treatment, you may feel numbness in the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness subsides. Avoid eating sticky and hard foods, and chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Brush normally, but floss carefully. Do not pull up on the floss, as this can dislodge a temporary bridge.
It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should fade a few weeks after your bridge is placed. You may use mild pain medications as directed. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please contact our Frederick office as soon as possible.
Dental Bridge FAQs
Please take some time to review our frequently asked questions about dental bridges. If you still need further information, do not hesitate to call our office.
Can dental bridges damage teeth?
There is always the potential for a tooth to become damaged. However, dental bridges can bond to one or more additional teeth. We ensure that bridges have had plenty of time to securely bond to adjoining teeth before patients resume their normal oral hygiene routine.
Why do dental bridges fail?
A dental bridge is a great way to replace teeth however there is always a chance of failure. In most cases, poor oral hygiene is by far the most common and preventable cause. If you do not brush and floss regularly, bacteria can get under the crowns of your bridge. This can lead to decay and gum disease and weaken the support teeth for the bridge. However, trauma to the mouth, an improper fit, and everyday wear and tear can also cause the dental bridge to fail.
What happens if you get a cavity under a bridge?
If your dentist discovers a tooth cavity on a tooth that is supporting your dental bridge, he will need to treat it. If caught early enough, your dentist will treat it with a simple tooth filling. However, if it is severe, Dr. Goyal will have to remove the bridge, treat the tooth and create a new bridge. Extreme decay may require an extraction. In this case, you may want to consider getting dental implants to replace your missing teeth.
Can food get stuck under a bridge?
Food can easily become stuck beneath or around a bridge since there is a gap underneath the prosthetic tooth. It’s crucial to have routine exams to ensure that your dental bridge is properly fitting and functioning. Carrying floss threaders and/or dental brushes with you will assist you remove food particles if they become trapped between your teeth. Failing to remove food particles and debris regularly will result in decay and gum disease.
Can you sleep with a removable bridge in?
You should remove your dental bridge each night and store it while you sleep. This gives the mouth’s muscles, gums, and surrounding teeth a resting period. These kinds of devices can also harbor bacteria and hinder the mouth’s natural ability to clean itself, so it is important to practice good oral care, and to clean your bridge as well when you remove it at night.
Is the process to get a bridge painful?
The process for placing the dental bridge in your mouth is rather simple and painless. In order to keep you pain-free throughout the procedure, we will numb the area before beginning. This will ensure that you are pain free and comfortable during the procedure. You may feel pressure while we prepare the teeth, however.