A missing tooth or teeth can keep you from smiling in front of others. It affects your self-esteem and confidence. The good news is there are solutions to fix this issue whether you lost a tooth due to a medical condition, natural causes or injury. A dentist can recommend dental bridges to replace your missing tooth or teeth. But what exactly are they and how do they work?
What are dental bridges?
A dental bridge is one of the solutions a dentist uses to fill the space left by a missing tooth. It not only fills the gap but also creates a natural appearance that restores your smile. There are basically four types of dental bridges.
Traditional bridge: This is the most common dental bridge that includes one or more fake teeth that are held in place by crowns cemented to surrounding teeth.
Cantilever bridge: This type of bridge is only supported on one side by a crown.
Maryland bridges: These rely on a conservative approach where metal or porcelain framework is used to hold the tooth in place. These bridges are, however, not as strong as the cemented ones. As a result, they are not recommended on teeth that have a lot of biting force.
Implant-supported bridge: This is used when more than one tooth is missing. Implants are used to hold the dental bridges in place. A dentist can place one implant for every missing tooth.
Dental Bridge Placement
The placement of the dental bridge is not surgical and so you will not be put under. Mild sedation can be offered to nervous patients to help them relax. The area being treated will also be numbed using a local anesthetic. The numbing injection is prefaced using a topical numbing jelly which is placed on the gums to reduce discomfort.
The first thing your dentist will do is take imprints and measure your mouth. This is done to help create custom bridges that fit perfectly and comfortably in your mouth. Imprints are often taken by biting down on soft foam. Temporary crowns may be placed if your tooth is compromised to add more protection as you wait for the bridge to be created.
There should not be any sharp pain during and after the procedure. Local anesthesia will be used to numb the target area. You do have to keep your mouth open for hours so this can cause soreness or discomfort in the jaw. Placing an ice pack on the outside of the jaw or using painkillers will treat the soreness or discomfort after the procedure.
The best thing about dental bridges is that recovery is quite minimal. You can eat as soon as the bridges are placed. Adapting to the bridges is also very easy. Contact your dentist if you feel any pain.
Benefits of getting dental bridges
There are many benefits that come with the use of dental bridges. They range from an appealing cosmetic result with a uniform and beautiful smile to the elimination of issues that come with missing teeth. If your dentist recommends this treatment it is a great option.