Missing teeth are more than an aesthetic concern. If left unaddressed, the gap caused by missing teeth can result in major changes to the alignment of your teeth, jaw, and bite. At Philadelphia Dental in South Philly, the practice provides custom fixed dental bridges to help patients restore the function and appearance of their smile. To find out if a dental bridge is appropriate for you, book an appointment by phone at this Philadelphia clinic or online.
Dental bridges are custom made replacement teeth that help restore the function and appearance of your smile. Teeth are designed to work together; when a tooth is lost or extracted, the empty space can cause the teeth and jaw to shift, altering the way you chew and speak. Dental bridges offer a natural-appearing solution to missing teeth.
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap left by your missing tooth. A fixed bridge is a dental bridge that has been placed either permanently or semi-permanently and can only be removed by your dentist. A dental bridge consists of three primary parts: The abutment, crown, and pontic. Once you and your dentist at Philadelphia Dental have discussed the best option for replacing your missing teeth, the procedure begins by preparing the abutment for the type of bridge you select.
In traditional bridges, the bridge is supported by the surrounding teeth. Traditional bridges typically require two appointments. First, to prepare your abutment teeth, your dentist removes parts of your tooth enamel to allow room for the crowns. The next step is to create your custom bridge, which consists of the replacement tooth (the pontic) and the two crowns that go over your abutment teeth.
Your custom crowns are made off-site. During this time a temporary bridge may be worn to protect the abutment teeth and gums. During your final appointment, the temporary bridge is removed, and your custom bridge is applied. The last thing your dentist will do is make adjustments to your bridge to ensure a perfect fit, and then will cement it into place.
In cases where abutment teeth cannot support the bridge, implant bridges are an option to restore missing teeth. Similar to traditional bridges, implant bridges attach directly to a metal post implanted into the jaw. Your dentist will allow a healing period of three to six months to ensure the implant has healed and successfully fused with the jawbone before attaching the bridge.
In order to get the longest life out of your dental bridge, it's important that you care for it properly. Although dental bridges are artificial teeth, they still need to be cleaned and maintained similar to natural teeth. After you’ve received your dental bridge, be sure to practice proper oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day and flossing beneath your bridge. You should also see the team at Phildalephia Dentist on a regular basis to ensure your bridge is receiving the care it needs.
If you’d like to discuss restoring your smile with dental bridges, book an appointment at Philadelphia Dental by phone or online today.