Our Okotoks dentists use dental bridges to fill the gaps left by missing teeth. Here's how the procedure works.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a restorative treatment option in which an artificial tooth (or teeth) that "bridges" the gap between two healthy teeth or dental implants. Dental bridges help to restore both the function and the appearance of the smile as a whole.
If you're visiting us for a dental bridge, here is what the process may look like:
During the assessment portion of the appointment, your dentist will talk to you about your options for replacing your missing teeth. In addition to a dental bridge, dentures and dental implants may also be considered.
Your dentist will make a recommendation for you based on your requirements and financial constraints.
Preparation & Temporary Bridge Placement
Dental bridges are attached to the healthy teeth on either side of a gap in order to fill the space. Before the bridge can be placed, your dentist will have to shape the teeth on either side (the abutment teeth), in order for them to be properly positioned for the bridge. A local anesthetic will be administered to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout this procedure.
Once the dentist has completed the shaping process, an impression of the shaped teeth will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory, along with a sample of the colour of your teeth.
Technicians will construct the bridge based on the impression, aiming to match as closely as possible the colour, size, and shape of your natural teeth.
While your permanent bridge is being built, you may be provided with a temporary bridge to wear so that you are comfortable in the meantime.
Permanent Bridge Placement
It will be possible to install your new, custom-made bridge once it has been completed. During this procedure, a local anesthetic will be administered to ensure that you remain comfortable.
The temporary bridge will be removed by the dentist, who will then carefully clean the teeth surrounding the gap. When the dental bridge is attached to the abutment teeth, dental cement will typically be used to hold it in place.
Once this is completed, the dentist will show you what the bridge looks like in your mouth and ask you to practice biting down with it a few times before completing the procedure. At first, you should expect it to feel a little strange, but this will pass quickly.
Once your bridge has been installed, you can take care of it in the same way that you would take care of your natural teeth. Your dental bridge will likely last for many years if you maintain it properly with regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to the dentist for preventive care.