The Procedure for Creating Dental Bridges
Tooth loss can lead to aesthetic problems as overall issues with dental health and wellness. Thankfully there are many options for treating tooth loss. The team at our San Diego restorative dentistry center can work closely with you if you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, crafting a custom solution that improves the overall health of your smile.
Dental bridges are one of the most common treatments for tooth loss. Let's go step by step through the basics of the procedure right now.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a appliance that is used to replace a missing tooth or to fill a gap let behind by multiple missing teeth. The bridge spans the gap left behind, restoring a person's ability to bite and chew. Thanks to a dental bridge, a patient will be able to bite, chew, and smile just like they used to.
A traditional dental bridge is held in place by bracing around the teeth that are adjacent to a tooth gap. The brackets of a dental bridge are carefully customized to meet the needs of the patient. The bridge is removable and will require regular cleaning.
Determining Candidacy for a Dental Bridge
The first step of the dental bridge process is determining candidacy for a bridge. Ideal candidates for dental bridges are people who are missing a tooth or multiple teeth. They should have teeth adjacent to the tooth gap, which will allow the bridge to brace around stable structures in the mouth.
Patients who are missing many or most of their teeth may be better candidates for dentures. This can be determined during the consultation process.
If a patient is a good candidate for dental bridges, the next step involves taking impressions of the patient's mouth. These impressions will be used to create a bridge that fits right with the patient's remaining teeth, ensuring comfort and ideal dental alignment when biting and chewing.
Consulting Dental History
In addition to impressions, dentists will also note the patient's dental history. This will help account for the missing tooth or missing teeth. This information will be crucial for the dental lab in creating a dental bridge that fits right and looks natural.
Working with a Dental Lab
The bridge itself is not created at the dental practice itself. Instead, a dentist works closely with a dental lab. There at the lab, technicians and specialists will create a custom bridge based on the impressions and information from a dentist. Using strong materials and advanced technology, the lab technicians will fabricate a dental bridge that is unique to the patient and the patient's needs. This can take two to three weeks.
Assessing the Fit of Your Dental Bridge
When the dental bridge arrives at the practice, your dentist will ask you to put it on and see how it fits. If there is any discomfort or looseness, adjustments can be discussed. Sometimes these adjustments can be made onsite at the practice, while other times it will be necessary to contact the dental lab to make changes.
We'll make sure your bridge fits properly so you will not have to deal with soreness or discomfort when going about your normal routine.
What About Fixed and Implant-Supported Dental Bridges?
Fixed and implant-supported dental bridges refer to variations on the dental bridge described above.
A fixed bridge refers to a bridge that's bookended by dental crowns on either side, which cap the teeth adjacent to a tooth gap. An implant-supported bridge is a bridge held in place with dental implants.
The process for each of these is similar with regard to the dental bridge per se, but it will involve the fashioning of custom crowns or the surgical placement of the dental implants into your jawbone. These processes and candidacy for them can be discussed during a consultation at the practice.
Learn More About Dental Bridges
For more information about dental bridges and whether or not they are an ideal option for you and your needs, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at our practice looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail.