Dental Bridges are one of the more common and less invasive methods of replacing a missing tooth within your mouth. However, dental bridges do require special care and carry with them a couple of special considerations in your regular dental hygiene routine to keep your mouth healthy. Here we will discuss what exactly a dental bridge is and what special considerations need to be made to maximize their success.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth to replace a missing tooth in your mouth that is held in place by the supporting teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth are typically made from porcelain so that they cosmetically blend with the other teeth in your mouth.
There are several types of dental bridges, yet all of them have this in common: they rely on the support of the tooth or teeth around them to remain in place.
What is the Process for Receiving a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge placement takes a minimum of two office visits to complete. The first visit involves the creation of a mold of the affected teeth so that the bridge may be custom fitted properly, and the second visit involves the placing and fitting of the permanent bridge within the mouth. There is typically no recovery time for a bridge placement. Once the local anesthetic wears off, the bridge should feel comfortable in your mouth with no pain.
How Long Can my Dental Bridge Last?
When properly cared for, a dental bridge can last ten years or longer. One of the greatest threats to a dental bridge is tooth decay, due to the possibility of food becoming stuck and impacted between the teeth where the bridge is placed or under the replacement tooth. If decay becomes an issue within the surrounding teeth, it can weaken the bridge and cause it to fall out.
How do I Properly Care for a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges require special care due to the nature of their connection with other teeth in the mouth and the potential for food impaction. By following a few specific and simple steps, however, you can help ensure the life of your dental bridge is maximized, the dental bridge remains clean, and that there is no harmful impact to the surrounding teeth.
Here are the best ways to ensure your dental bridge receives the best possible care:
- Brush your teeth twice daily to minimize the amount of plaque and food buildup that occurs in and around the dental bridge.
- Floss your teeth at least daily. In order to floss the area around your bridge, you will need to thread regular floss through the bridge or use a proxy brush, which is a tiny brush designed to reach the nooks and crannies between teeth without threading through. The flossing step is especially important for teeth that are part of the bridge, as the bridge creates an environment where food is more likely to become trapped.
- Stay consistent with your regular dental cleanings and exams. Your dentist can help monitor the status of your bridge and identify any potential problems that may need to be addressed before they cause harm to your teeth.
While dental bridges can seem to require more care than regular teeth, they can be a great benefit to your overall oral health. It is very important to replace missing teeth to prevent further dental problems and chewing difficulties that can result from the loss of a tooth. A dental bridge serves as a placeholder for that missing tooth, which affects overall alignment and bone structure. Be sure to take proper care of your dental bridges, however, so that you can glean the maximum life from them and you can keep surrounding teeth healthy and thriving.
We at Cooper Family Dentistry care about your overall oral health and are here to help you have the best smile possible. If you have any concerns about your dental bridge or would like to discuss the replacement of missing teeth, please call our office so we can help you get on the right track towards the healthiest mouth possible. To schedule an appointment, call our friendly office staff at 501-982-7547 or, for your convenience, fill out an appointment request here.