The Treatment Process for Dental Bridges
When patients experience tooth loss, they want to regain a healthy and full smile as soon as possible. Thanks to the various restorative services offered at our Wilmington office, there is a safe and effective way for everyone to replace missing teeth. Whether through dental implants, bridges, or dentures, we will help you determine the best way to counter tooth loss as soon as it occurs.
Dental bridges are a common method of tooth replacement, especially in cases where patients cannot support implants or have multiple missing teeth. If you plan on receiving a bridge, it is helpful to understand the treatment from beginning to end. Take a moment to peruse the following timeline for the dental bridge treatment process.
Before having a dental bridge installed, you and your dentist must determine whether the treatment is right for you. In most cases of tooth loss, the first option to be considered is dental implants. However, not everyone is an ideal candidate, as implants require enough bone structure for support, as well as gums that are free of disease. Alternatively, several lost teeth would require an implant for each, making the surgery seem too extensive or intrusive for some people.
A dental bridge, on the other hand, can replace one or more missing teeth through a single restoration that does not require oral surgery. If this option appeals to a patient’s needs and desires for treatment, the remaining factor in one’s candidacy is whether the bridge can be supported. Rather than being installed into the jaw like implants, a bridge is held in place by a crown at each end, which is cemented over a neighboring tooth. Therefore, patients must have healthy teeth on either side of the bridge in order for them to anchor it.
Getting Your Bridge: First Visit
Once you are determined to be a good candidate for a bridge and are ready to have it installed, two visits to our cosmetic dentistry office will be scheduled. These separate visits are necessary due to the time it takes to craft your bridge. During the first visit, your teeth will be prepared and impressions will be taken:
- Local anesthesia will first be administered to relieve any discomfort during the preparation of your teeth.
- The two teeth that will be supporting the bridge will then have a layer of enamel removed from them. This is to prepare them for the bridge’s crowns.
- Impressions will be taken of the area, including the prepared teeth and the missing teeth. These impressions will be used to craft the bridge specifically to your teeth and overall mouth.
- The area will be covered with a temporary bridge, protecting your teeth and filling in your smile while you wait for a more permanent restoration.
Getting Your Bridge: Second Visit
The time it takes your bridge to be completed depends on a few factors, including its size and complexity. Nevertheless, you should expect it to be ready within a couple of weeks. When you arrive for your follow-up visit, the temporary restoration will be removed and the permanent bridge will be fitted. The dentist will check for any abnormalities, and you will be asked to give feedback on how it feels. Assuming the bridge is a good fit, it will be cemented in place.
At this point, your bridge should be permanently installed, and your smile will once against appear full and natural. Because bridges are typically crafted out of porcelain, the replacement teeth will look nearly identical to natural teeth in size, shape, and color. Assuming you take care of your bridge, your new smile should last many years without fading in color or changing in structure.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are suffering from one or more lost teeth, do not wait to seek the appropriate treatment. Even if your teeth are currently healthy, remember to undergo regular cleanings and exams to avoid future decay. Call or email our office to set up an appointment with one of our dental professionals.
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