Dental bridges can fill gaps or missing teeth with natural looking replacements. Highland Oak Dental is pleased to offer this option for our patients to replace one, a few or all of their missing teeth. They will look and feel close to your natural ones. They are stable and strong but will need to be properly cared for to keep them long lasting and working correctly. Before we learn about caring for them, let’s find out more about what they are and how they work.
What are Dental Bridges?
It is a non-removable dental appliance which is used to replace missing natural teeth by using the support of the adjacent healthy ones on either side of the missing tooth. These supporting teeth are known as an abutment; the ones which fill the gap are called pontics. They are permanent and can only be removed by a dentist if required, while conventional removable dentures are taken out daily.
How Are They Prepared?
Our mission is to provide our patients with the highest quality and most aesthetically pleasing ones possible. Here is, in short, how we prepare them:
- Clinical Evaluation – First, our dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth. She will also look at X-rays to see what the condition of the abutments are in as well as the underlying jaw bone. With this information, she will determine whether this treatment is suitable and will put together a comprehensive treatment plan to restore your missing teeth.
- Preparation – To prepare the abutments on either side of the gap, a slight amount of the tooth structure is removed to shape them so that the inner surface of the bridge fits perfectly around them.
- Impression Making – An impression is made of the prepared teeth and gap and is sent to the lab. Our technicians at the laboratory use it to prepare the framework. This framework can be metallic or porcelain, or even porcelain layered over metal for a better look.
- Attaching – Once we receive it from the lab, we will place them over the abutments and ensure they fit perfectly. Once we confirm the look and fit, they will be permanently attached with a special adhesive cement.
What are the Benefits?
If you’re wondering whether they are preferable than removable dentures, let’s look at some of the advantages.
- Superior Esthetics – Quality ones not only look natural but they restore your facial contours and aesthetics. They also don’t get stained or discolored easily the way removable dentures can do very quickly.
- Durability – The framework is made from extremely durable alloys. Because of this, they can last over ten years. Removable dentures, on average, last about five years.
- Convenience – It is affixed permanently which allows easier and more natural eating and speaking, whereas a major complaint about traditional dentures is that they do not completely restore these capabilities.
- Eat Everything You Like – With conventional dentures, eating foods that require increased masticatory force, or lots of chewing, is difficult. Bridges do not have this problem because they are fixed permanently. You can continue to enjoy all of the foods you love.
Caring for Your Teeth Bridges
Because they are affixed to the surrounding natural teeth, particles of food could likely get stuck beneath them. Particular attention should be paid to ensure that they are a clinical success and also last a long time. Here are the important things to know about caring for them:
- Strict Oral Hygiene Care – It is so important to maintain the best oral hygiene possible around the bridge to avoid developing periodontal problems. If not, the abutments could begin hurting or even become loose due to bone resorption. This could lead to the clinical failure of the prosthesis. To avoid this from happening, your oral health routine must include the following:
- Brushing – Brush at least twice a day, everyday. This will remove any food or bacterial particles completely before going to bed. Sometimes brushing beneath the bridge can be tough because of the lack of space for a regular toothbrush to maneuver and clean every area completely. We recommend using an interdental toothbrush, which is designed to clean specifically around them.
- Flossing – Floss at least once a day to help maintain good hygiene around your fixed denture. Our dental hygienists are experts in this area and will guide you through correct process for flossing.
- Mouthwash – Use a mouthwash as recommended every day. This is a highly effective way to maintain your best oral hygiene. You can use your preferred brand available on the market, or a medicated mouthwash if you are at a higher risk of gum problems and your dentist recommends doing so.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last
They can last for ten years, and sometimes even longer with proper care and maintenance. They can serve as an excellent replacement for lost teeth and prevent dental problems when the neighboring teeth change the position to fill the gap.
Caring for them is essential to its lifespan. Brushing your teeth regularly, combined with specialized and professional cleaning, helps increase its lifespan.
Additionally, eating foods that do not put so much stress on them also prolongs its life. Avoid foods that are hard such as nuts, popcorn, and chewy snacks help increase the longevity of the dentures.
Serving Our Community of Frisco, TX
Even with the utmost care in maintaining excellent oral health, problems are bound to arise with either your artificial or natural teeth. That is why we recommend a visit to our office at least twice yearly for preventive care or checkup. During a visit, we will examine your existing natural ones and see how your fillings, dentures or bridges are holding up. We then can provide any necessary treatment, if required.
Aside from their higher cost, the many benefits of dental bridges compare more favorably to removable dentures. If you need a long-term replacement for missing teeth, give us a call today. We consider the oral health and comfort of our patients our highest priority. Don’t wait a moment longer. Your dream smile is just a visit away from reality.
Dr. George’s Dental Affiliations
Dr. George is highly educated and experienced in providing dental care. She provides the dental care you and your family need to reach healthy smiles. Read more about our Team.