Missing teeth can not only be an embarrassing dental problem affecting your daily life, but often leads to additional complex dental problems as a result of shifting teeth and shrinkage of bone in the jaw.
Replacing missing teeth with the most suitable option for your dental health is the key to a comfortable result. Durham restorative dentist Dr. Brent Blaylock provides several options for tooth replacement and will determine which is best for you after a thorough examination and discussion of your personal concerns, goals and budget.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a series of prosthetic teeth that fill in the gap left by missing teeth. The prosthesis is supported on either side by the surrounding healthy teeth, which must first be prepared.
The artificial replacement tooth, called the pont, is a false tooth that fills in the gap left behind by the missing tooth. More than one replacement tooth can be used to fill in a gap left by more than one tooth.
The teeth surrounding the pont, which create the abutment, first require crowns, or caps. The artificial tooth is attached to the abutment to cross over the gap in your teeth just like a bridge spanning a canyon.
The Dental Bridge Procedure: What to Expect
To prepare the abutment, your dentist will remove the enamel from the healthy teeth on either side of the gap, creating enough space for the crown to fit over and cover them. These crowns will support the pont in between them. The pont is really just another crown without a living tooth underneath.
Bridgework usually requires two visits to the dentist’s office. At the first visit, your abutment teeth will be prepared under local anesthetic, and molds of these teeth are taken to prepare models of your teeth to construct the crowns. A temporary bridge will be placed during this first visit.
When the permanent bridge is ready, it will be permanently placed during the second visit. You may need some time to adjust to a new feeling in your mouth, but eventually you won’t notice your dental bridge.
Caring for your Bridge
Crowned teeth require the same conscientious care as your other teeth. Be sure to brush twice daily and floss every day to reduce the build-up of dental plaque. It is even more important to schedule regular cleanings with your dental provider if you have a bridge. A well-cared-for bridge can last for a long time with proper care.
Dental Bridges in Durham, NC
Dr. Blaylock is an experienced restorative dentist in Durham, NC who can help you look and feel your best. Dental bridges have been around for a long time and can help you restore balance and functionality to your smile. Schedule your dental bridges consultation online today or call us at 919.518.9963.