When a young child loses a baby tooth, their parents know that it is a sign of growth and often help their child celebrate the event with a treat or visit from the tooth fairy. In adulthood, however, the loss of a tooth is rarely a reason to celebrate. Instead, adults who find themselves with one or more missing teeth often turn to dental bridge treatment to help them fill the gap. If you have just had a tooth removed or suffered the loss of a tooth from an accident or injury, the following information can help answer your questions on dental bridge treatment.
Why is a dental bridge necessary?
Dental bridgework is typically used as a way to replace one or more missing teeth. If the tooth you have lost is not easily visible, you may wonder why you still need to consider bridgework.
While it is true that dental bridges offer cosmetic value by helping patients restore their smile, replacing a missing tooth is important for several additional reasons, as well. These include:
- aiding in tooth alignment and support for the facial structure
- helping to maintain proper bite and mastication of food
- providing structural support to keep the remaining teeth in their proper position
Depending on the location of the missing tooth, dental bridges can also help patients avoid experiencing unwanted changes in the way they speak or sing.
Are all dental bridges the same?
While your dental care provider will ensure that any dental bridgework that you receive will be adjusted for comfort and alignment, traditional bridges are often chosen for their ease of use and ability to be easily customized for each patient. Traditional bridges are usually made from ceramic or porcelain and metal materials, and they are held in place by anchoring the bridge to a natural tooth on each side of the gap.
Additional types include the resin-bonded bridge that is supported with a framework made from porcelain or metal and the cantilever bridge, which is used when there is no adjacent tooth to anchor to on one side of the gap.
How many visits are required when getting a dental bridge?
Patients should expect a bridgework dental treatment process to require at least two or more visits for the initial creation of the bridge and one or more later appointments for adjustment of the appliance. The good news is that you will be given a temporary bridge to wear during the process that will protect the area and help quickly restore your appearance after a tooth loss.
Can patients eat normally with dental bridgework in place?
Patients who are concerned that eating will be uncomfortable or difficult after being fitted with any type of bridgework will be happy to know that it may actually be easier than it was with a missing tooth. Like any dental appliance, it may take some time to become completely comfortable with dental bridges. During this time, patients may want to consider opting for softer foods, taking smaller bites, and chewing more slowly until they are completely comfortable with their dental appliance.
Are dental bridges difficult or time-consuming to care for?
Many dental patients who are fitted with a dental bridge are surprised to find that their dental hygiene routine is largely the same after the procedure. Maintaining a twice-a-day brushing and flossing schedule, along with rinsing with a mouthwash product that offers antiseptic qualities and getting regular dental health checkups, is usually all that is needed for good dental hygiene.
Dental bridges can offer patients a minimally invasive way to replace a missing tooth and restore their teeth to their normal appearance and functionality. If you or a family member are suffering from the loss of one or more teeth, make an appointment to discuss your how a dental bridge could help your situation with a trusted dental care provider.