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However you found yourself with a tooth or a few teeth missing, our Grand Rapids, MI, dentists have several ways you can reclaim your smile. An appealing option for many patients is a dental bridge because of its permanency and how it looks as though it has always belonged.
Here’s how dental bridges work and whether your smile would benefit from having one placed.
Appropriately named, a dental bridge literally “bridges the gap” left by one or more missing teeth. It is a fixed, or permanent, solution that replaces lost teeth and gives you a beautifully natural smile.
Traditional dental bridges consist of two or more dental crowns with a false tooth in between. The crowns are placed over anchoring teeth on either side of the gap, also known as “abutment teeth”.
Bridges can also be supported by dental implants if natural teeth are not present.
Every patient is different. Our dentists will need to examine your entire mouth to determine what will work best for you. We may even find that other restorative solutions like dental implants are the more appropriate choice.
First, our dentists will start by preparing the adjacent, or abutment, teeth that will help support the bridge. The teeth will be reshaped and recontoured enough to allow for crown placement. Once this stage is complete, impressions of the teeth can be made.
We’ll then use these impressions to fabricate the bridge, crowns, and false tooth that will rest in between. While the bridge is being constructed, we will give you a temporary bridge to wear so exposed teeth and gums are properly protected.
Our dentists will remove the temporary dental bridge and place the permanent version once all components are ready. Finally, we’ll make sure your bite and the fit of the bridge are correct. If anything feels off, please let us know and we will make alterations as needed.
There are many advantages to having a dental bridge placed. The most obvious benefit is that they can help improve the appearance of your smile. This alone can provide a noticeable confidence boost and make it all worth it.
Your dental bridge will need to be taken care of to ensure your mouth remains healthy. You will have to be extra diligent about practicing oral hygiene habits after the permanent bridge is placed.
For example, the area where the fake tooth rests on the gums is difficult to clean and can result in plaque buildup. To combat this, rinse with mouthwash often, brush twice a day, and floss daily underneath the bridge.
Oral hygiene habits such as these will reduce inflammation and prevent cavities from occurring at the edge of the bridge. You may find that you need floss threaders or a water flosser to accurately reach areas underneath and in between.
Our dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, can spend time talking with you about dental bridges and how one might work with your smile if you’re interested. Call Contemporary Family Dental today at (616) 209-3969 to schedule an appointment.
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