How Is a Dental Bridge Installed? Step to Procedure and Recovery
If you have lost one or more teeth, a dental bridge can be an effective way to restore your smile and improve your oral health. But how exactly is a dental bridge installed? In this article, we will take you through the step-by-step procedure of getting a dental bridge and the recovery process that follows.
Understanding Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is a prosthetic device used to replace one or more missing teeth. It is usually made up of two or more dental crowns on either end of the gap, called abutment teeth, and a false tooth or teeth in between them, called pontics. The abutment teeth serve as anchors for the bridge, while the pontics fill the space left by the missing teeth.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are four main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional bridges: The most common type of bridge, made up of two or more dental crowns and a pontic.
- Cantilever bridges: Used when there is only one adjacent tooth to support the bridge.
- Maryland bridges: Consist of a metal or porcelain framework bonded to the back of adjacent teeth.
- Implant-supported bridges: Supported by dental implants rather than adjacent teeth.
Your dentist will help you choose the best type of bridge for your needs based on several factors, including the location of the missing tooth or teeth and the condition of your remaining teeth and gums.
The first step in getting a dental bridge is an initial consultation with your dentist. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your mouth and take x-rays to assess the condition of your teeth and gums. They will also discuss your medical history and any medications you are currently taking to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Preparing for the Procedure
Before the procedure, your dentist will give you instructions on how to prepare. You may need to stop taking certain medications or adjust your dosage in the days leading up to the procedure. You should also avoid eating or drinking anything for at least six hours prior to the appointment.
To ensure your comfort during the procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the abutment teeth.
Next, your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth by removing a small amount of enamel to make room for the dental crowns that will hold the bridge in place. If the abutment teeth are decayed or damaged, they may need to be built up with a filling material before the crowns can be placed.
Once the abutment teeth are prepared, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth using a dental putty. These impressions will be used to create a model of your teeth that will guide the fabrication of your dental bridge.
Fitting the Temporary Bridge
While your permanent bridge is being fabricated, your dentist will fit you with a temporary bridge to protect your abutment teeth and fill the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth. This temporary bridge is made of a resin material that can be easily removed at your next appointment.
Fabrication of the Permanent Bridge
The fabrication process for your permanent bridge can take several weeks, depending on the type of bridge and the materials used. In most cases, the bridge will be fabricated at a dental laboratory using the impressions taken during your initial appointment.
Installing the Permanent Bridge
Once your permanent bridge is ready, you will return to the dentist’s office for the installation procedure. Your dentist will remove the temporary bridge and fit the permanent bridge in place. They will then check the fit and adjust the bridge as needed to ensure that it sits comfortably and looks natural.
After the bridge is installed, your dentist may need to make final adjustments to ensure that it is properly aligned with your bite and that your teeth meet together correctly. They may also polish the bridge to give it a smooth, natural appearance.
After the installation procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort and sensitivity around the abutment teeth for a few days. You can manage this discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers and by eating soft foods.
It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for caring for your bridge during the recovery process. You should avoid eating hard or sticky foods, and be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep the bridge and your remaining teeth clean and healthy.
Maintaining Your Dental Bridge
With proper care and maintenance, a dental bridge can last for many years. You should continue to brush and floss your teeth regularly, and visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
If your bridge becomes loose or damaged, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible to have it repaired or replaced.
Some common concerns about dental bridges include:
- Will it be painful? The procedure itself is not painful, as you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. Afterward, you may experience some discomfort and sensitivity, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
- How long will it last? With proper care and maintenance, a dental bridge can last for many years.
- Will it look natural? Yes, your dental bridge will be custom-made to match the color and shape of your surrounding teeth, so it will look natural and blend in seamlessly with your smile.
- Will it affect my speech? It may take a few days to adjust to speaking with your new bridge, but most people find that it does not significantly affect their speech.
- Can I still eat my favorite foods? You may need to avoid certain hard or sticky foods, but in general, you should be able to eat most of your favorite foods with a dental bridge.
A dental bridge can be an effective way to restore your smile and improve your oral health after tooth loss. The procedure involves several steps, from initial consultation to final adjustments, but with proper care and maintenance, your bridge can last for many years.
If you are considering a dental bridge, be sure to consult with your dentist to determine the best type of bridge for your needs and to get personalized recommendations for care and maintenance. Read More…
- How long does it take to get a dental bridge?
The process of getting a dental bridge can take several weeks, depending on the type of bridge and materials used.
- Will my dental bridge look natural?
Yes, your dental bridge will be custom-made to match the color and shape of your surrounding teeth, so it will look natural and blend in seamlessly with your smile.
- Can I eat my favorite foods with a dental bridge?
You may need to avoid certain hard or sticky foods, but in general, you should be able to eat most of your favorite foods with a dental bridge.