Bridges aren’t just for cars - some go right into your mouth! If you are missing a tooth, you may require a dental bridge.
A basic dental bridge is a fixed device that is placed in your mouth to close the gap that was left from a missing tooth, permanently anchoring an artificial tooth (or teeth) to the adjacent, existing teeth. A bridge can be critical in preventing teeth from drifting into the missing space, and causing problems with your bite.
What are my options for dental bridges?
Traditional Bridge: A traditional bridge uses the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth as anchors for a false tooth that fills that space.
*Maryland Bonded Bridge: A Maryland Bridge is a popular choice as it requires very little preparation to the neighbouring teeth; and is somewhat of a more cost-effective solution than others.
*Cantilever Bridge: A Cantilever Bridge is an option used when there is only one tooth adjacent to the missing tooth, supporting the false tooth only on one end.
*It’s important to note that the Maryland Bridge and Cantilever Bridge are not as strong as a Traditional Bridge - ask your dentist about which option makes sense for you.
What steps are involved in preparing a tooth for a bridge?
- Excellent oral hygiene is required before the placement of any major restoration. If you have not been to our office for your regular hygiene visit, we will schedule you in for a visit before diagnosis. Dr. VandenBrink will advise what oral hygiene steps are required prior to commencing treatment.
- Upon completion of your consultation with Dr. VandenBrink, you will be scheduled for a bridge preparation appointment. At this visit, the tooth/teeth will be prepared, an impression will be taken, and a temporary bridge will be created in-office and cemented on to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. This impression is then sent to a lab to create your permanent bridge.
- At your follow-up appointment, Dr. VandenBrink will cement your permanent bridge, and you will leave with your new bridge and completed restoration!
How should I care for my temporary dental bridge?
Because temporary dental bridges are just an interim fix until your permanent bridge is ready, we suggest that a few precautions be taken:
- Avoid chewy and sticky foods which can pull off or dislodge the bridge.
- Avoid food and beverages that are known to stain (for example, blueberries, red wine, coffee, grape juice, etc.) as temporary bridges are more porous and stain easily.
- Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth that has the temporary bridge.
- Avoid chewing hard foods - doing so could break or dislodge the bridge.
- When flossing, slide out rather than lift out. Even though you normally lift the floss out, you run the risk of pulling off the temporary bridge.
- In the case that the temporary bridge does come off, please call the clinic so we can book an appointment to re-cement it back on.
The success of a dental bridge is highly predicated on the health of your surrounding teeth; therefore, it’s critical that you keep your remaining natural teeth healthy and strong!