When you lose a tooth — either by injury, medical condition, or natural causes — you may be thinking about your options for restoration. Even just a single missing tooth can create a gap in your smile, or create more serious changes such as jaw pain, or discomfort when chewing food.
One of the most common solutions to this problem is having a dental bridge placed in your mouth.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a solution when you have lost a tooth, or when you have a gap that is causing your other teeth to become loose. This replacement tooth will fill in the space, creating a natural appearance while helping to restore the tooth.
There are several types of bridges. A traditional bridge is the most common type, which includes one or more fake teeth held in place with crowns. These crowns are cemented to the teeth surrounding the tooth that is missing.
Another option is a cantilever bridge, which is supported by a crown on only one side. If you only have one tooth next to your missing tooth, you can still have this type of crown secured to your mouth. Maryland bridges offer a more conservative approach, using porcelain or metal framework to hold the fake tooth in place. These bridges aren’t as strong as those cemented in, so teeth that have a lot of biting force won’t be able to hold up with a Maryland bridge.
The final type is an implant-supported bridge, which is often used when you have more than one tooth that is missing. These bridges are held in place by implants, which are secured to your jawbone for maximum stability.
Placing a Dental Bridge
The placement of a dental bridge is not a surgical procedure, so you will be awake throughout the procedure. I will numb the area of your mouth with local anesthetic by injecting medication directly into your gums. This is usually prefaced by the use of topical numbing jelly, placed on your gums to minimize the discomfort of the injection.
The first step in placing a dental bridge is taking imprints and measurements of your mouth. This ensures that your custom-made bridge will fit properly and feels comfortable. You will likely have to bite down on a soft piece of foam to create the imprint. If needed, I may place temporary crowns if your teeth are compromised, offering protection as you wait for the bridge to be created. During your procedure, any temporary crowns will be removed and I will apply the cement that holds the bridge in place.
One of the best things about a dental bridge as a treatment option is that the recovery is very minimal. In fact, you can usually eat normally as soon as the bridge has been placed in your mouth. Most patients have no trouble adapting to the bridge, but if you do feel any pain, you could have a rough patch on the bridge that we can easily fix.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges offer a number of benefits. This simple procedure provides an appealing cosmetic result that eliminates the space and creates a uniform, beautiful smile.
With the right treatment, a missing or damaged tooth doesn’t have to impact the look of your smile or the overall condition of your mouth.
About THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®
THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.