Dental Bridge: What to Expect
Dental bridges are one of the many options to treat a patient who has some missing teeth. Typically, there will be a support tooth on each side of the vacant space in the mouth. These are considered support teeth that will be used as ‘abutments’ to hold the prosthetic tooth known as a ‘pontic’ in place. The abutment (support) teeth will be reduced in size so that a crown with the connected pontic (prosthetic tooth) will fit securely. The pontic is what your dentist may refer to when talking about your bridge.
The Process of Getting Your Dental Bridge
When getting a dental bridge, we will first get Impressions of your teeth and send them to a lab for custom fabrication. You will be sent home with a temporary bridge to prevent the teeth from moving while you wait for the permanent bridge to be ready. Once your permanent bridge is attached in place, we will check the occlusion to ensure that you are not biting too hard on the prosthetic, which can lead to great discomfort when attempting to eat or premature damage to the artificial tooth itself.
A bitewing x-ray is usually taken to check if the bridge is fitting properly on the prepared teeth. Once everything is approved, the bridge is then permanently cemented in place using special dental grade glue safe for oral use. When the cement has dried, any excess is removed and the occlusal bite is rechecked.
Proper Bridge Care and Maintenance
Keeping up with professional cleanings is always important, but when a patient has a permanent bridge, there are additional special steps that should be taken at home to optimize oral hygiene. Failure to do so may result in foul odor, dental cavities and other unwanted disruptions.
Flossing becomes even more important than ever. Food debris has a strong tendency to get trapped under the pontic of a bridge – even with the best fitting bridges. This can lead to red, swollen gums and halitosis. A bridge threader can be used to help keep the area clean. Using floss, thread it through a floss threader, and poke the end under the pontic, through the other side. Slide the floss back and forth in a gentle scrubbing fashion to loosen food particles. Use mouthwash or water flosser to wash away the food particles loosened by the floss.
Contact Dream Dentist today if you have more questions about how a dental bridge works or how you can properly care for it to maximize its lifespan.
O'Fallon, IL 62269