Restorative Dental Bridge in Eden Prairie, MN
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We’ll run through the reasons why you may need a dental bridge, what a dental bridge actually is and the various types, how the process takes place in the dental office and the benefits of considering a dental bridge.
Why Do I need a Dental Bridge?
Simply put, you have a missing tooth, or even a few. How did that happen? It might be the result of an unfortunate accident in which the tooth needed to be extracted. Or possibly through poor oral hygiene the tooth became infected and a root canal could not save the tooth, again resulting in an extraction. You may have taken a fall, which happens to every one of all ages when you least expect it, and severely chipped the tooth that the decision was made to extract the tooth. Finally, maybe the tooth became cracked or fractured and decay set in and the tooth could not be saved. All of these are scenarios that we don’t plan for but happen every day. So, you find yourself looking in the mirror and your smile now has a big gap in it. What are your options to fill that gap and correct your smile? You can either have a dental implant or a dental bridge. This is a discussion you need to have with either of our Doctors. Together you can decide which route is best for you.
We’ll focus on the procedure for the traditional bridge since they are the most common and the most frequent bridges used. The first part of the process is to get an impression of your teeth. Once this is accomplished the impression will be sent to a dental lab to fabricate the bridge. Then the two abutment teeth need to be ever so slightly smaller to accommodate the new crowns that will be coming from the lab. After this first visit you will leave the dental office with some temporary crowns over these two teeth. Once the bridge is completed and delivered you will return for your final fitting. After the dentist has placed the bridge and the two crowns over the abutment teeth and everything meets with your approval, an adhesive will be used to cement the crowns into place. You leave the office with a newly place dental bridge and the ability to bite, chew and eat normally.
What is a Dental Bridge?
This is a prosthetic device that is correctly named. Like a bridge we walk over or drive over, this bridge will span a gap in your teeth. A bridge needs anchors on each sides. In the case of a dental bridge you will usually have two abutment teeth, one on each side, that serve as anchors to support the bridge. This would be the first type of dental bridge; the Traditional Bridge with two abutment teeth. In this case, the artificial tooth, called a pontic, is bonded to two crowns in which go over the abutment teeth. The second type of dental bridge is the Cantilever Bridge. In this case you only have one abutment tooth doing the support work and the bridge is made slightly different. A third type of dental bridge, considered a conservative approach, is called the Maryland Bridge. Rather than putting crowns over the abutment teeth a metal or porcelain framework is bonded to the back of those teeth to support the pontic. Finally, the fourth version of a dental bridge is the Implant-supported Bridge. This would be necessary in the event that you lost three teeth in a row. The middle tooth becomes an implant and then two bridges are literally made crossing the remaining gap on each side of the implant to the two abutment teeth. The strength and durability of each and every one of these dental bridges will vary in regards to the placement in your mouth and your habits. Once the bridge is in place this will be another discussion you will have with your dentist to prolong the life of your new bridge.
Benefits of a Dental Bridge
Since the decision was made prior to the procedure that the dental bridge was at this time more beneficial to your well-being than an implant, the balance of the benefit is functionality. As mentioned above, your bite and chewing patterns can return to normal. Depending on the placement of the bridge your smile will also return to normal. If the gap was evident there is a tremendous value add in the self-confidence and self-esteem that the return of your normal smile will bring back to you.
Having common sense is a good logistical start. You should avoid biting or chewing tough objects of food. A good example would be to chew on ice. There is no reason to test the strength of your new bridge. Otherwise good oral hygiene habits need to be in play. Brushing twice a day, carefully, taking your time, and then to floss once a day will not change. A little extra care around the bridge will be beneficial. Since you have one, two or three new crowns be aware that these prosthetic additions can crack and stain just like real teeth. In addition to biting and chewing, you may want to consider a mouth guard when participating in physical activities to avoid biting and clenching resulting in potential cracks. You need to monitor your intake on colas, tea, coffee or red wine. These are some common beverages that can and will stain your new crowns. You should also make a practice of scheduling regular dental checkup visits twice a year. Not only will you get your teeth professionally cleaned to avoid plaque build-up but you will also get regular x-rays to monitor activity below the gum line. Your bridge will not last forever but you can get a strong 10 to 15 years with simple good regular hygiene. Of course, the balance of your natural teeth and gums will be heathier as well. Enjoy your new dental bridge and hold that smile longer.
Contact Smile Eden Prairie
Having a dental bridge procedure can significantly impact and improve the lives of those with damaged teeth. Scheduling an appointment for this procedure is the first step towards being confident in your smile once again. We are here to help you begin your journey towards health, happiness, and the perfect smile! Please contact us to set up an appointment for dental bridges at (952) 941-9829. At Smile Eden Prairie, we are passionate about your smile and committed to providing you with the quality care you need!