What is a Dental Bridge and When is is Needed?

If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be embarrassed to smile or talk. A missing tooth can even make eating more difficult or less pleasurable, which means you may not be getting all the nutrition you need for a healthy body. If you don’t replace them, one or more missing teeth can also lead to more dental problems. Fortunately, your dentist at Las Cruces Dental Solutions can create a dental bridge to restore your dazzling smile.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge replaces one or more missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function as well as your natural teeth.  Consisting of one or more replacement teeth, also known as pontics, bridges may be made from porcelain, ceramic, or metal alloys. 

Dental bridges can be fixed or removable. Fixed bridges are permanently attached to adjacent teeth, which makes them sturdy and easy to care for – just brush and floss as normal. Removable bridges, by contrast, can be taken out for cleaning.

Do I Need a Dental Bridge?

You may need a dental bridge if you are missing one or more teeth.

A dental bridge is a versatile solution to a variety of problems caused by missing teeth. Anyone who needs to replace one or more missing teeth can benefit from a bridge. Dental bridges are also effective at preventing the remaining teeth from shifting out of place. Bridges make it easier for people with a missing tooth or teeth to speak and eat. A dental bridge can also improve the appearance of your smile. 

There are several factors to consider when deciding whether a dental bridge is the right choice. These factors include the location of your missing tooth or teeth, the health of the surrounding teeth and gums, and your overall oral health. 

Cost is also a consideration. A dental bridge can cost anywhere between $2000 and $5000, depending on the type of dental bridge you choose and its materials. The tooth bridge cost includes placement of the bridge.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

You may be a good candidate for a dental bridge if you have:

  • One or more missing teeth that had fallen out or were extracted by a dentist
  • Two strong, healthy teeth on each side of the missing tooth
  • Good oral health aside from the missing tooth or teeth
  • No dental work that needs completion before getting a dental bridge

Some people are not good candidates for dental bridges because they have pre-existing dental issues, such as gum disease, or their abutment teeth are in poor condition and cannot support the bridge. Fortunately, our dentist can resolve many issues that prevent patients from getting the dental bridge they need for a healthy smile. 

The Procedure for Getting a Dental Bridge

Getting a dental bridge requires several steps. First, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to determine if a bridge is your best option. Your dentist may recommend that you undergo treatment for gum disease or tooth decay as necessary to ensure the success of your dental bridge.

If you and your dentist decide that you are ready for a bridge, your dentist will prepare the adjacent teeth, which will serve as anchors for the bridge. More specifically, your dentist removes a small amount of enamel from the adjacent teeth, also known as abutment teeth, to make room for the caps that will hold your new dental bridge in place. 

Your dentist then takes impressions of your teeth and sends the mold to a dental lab, which custom-makes your dental bridges. It may take two to three weeks to make your dental bridge – unless you get a same day/next day dental bridge from Las Cruces Dental Solutions. Once it is ready, your dentist will check the fit of your dental bridge and adjust it as necessary before permanently cementing your dental bridge into place. 

Taking Care of Your Dental Bridge

Proper care and maintenance of your dental bridge, also known as a tooth bridge or a fixed partial denture, is essential to its longevity. Hidden by the dental bridge, cavities can form in the abutment teeth, and this can eventually cause your bridge to fall out. Bacteria can build up around the bridge to cause gum disease, which can damage the gums and weaken the bone structure around the involved teeth; without support, you may lose your bridge. 

To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, brush twice a day and floss once daily. Avoid eating hard or sticky foods that can damage your bridge or pull it out of place. See your dentist regularly to ensure that your dental bridge and the surrounding teeth and gums remain healthy. 

Dental bridges are a common and effective solution to missing teeth. They can improve the appearance of a smile, make it easier to eat and speak, and prevent surrounding teeth from shifting out of place. If you are considering a dental bridge, talk to your Las Cruces dentist to determine if it is the best option for your oral health needs. Contact Las Cruces Dental Solutions today.

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