Missing teeth can be replaced with dental bridges. Our dentists in Grande Prairie share how the procedure works.
What is a dental bridge?
The aptly named dental bridge literally serves as a "bridge" between two healthy teeth (or two dental implants) with a gap between them. The procedure to replace the bridge helps to restore your smile's appearance and function.
No doubt, you're likely wondering, "How, exactly, does this procedure work?" Our Grande Prairie dentists are here to provide the answer.
During an assessment, your dentist will discuss options for replacing your missing teeth. Along with a dental bridge, dentures and dental implants might also be considered.
The dentist will recommend options for you based on your needs and financial constraints. If you choose a dental bridge, we'll take these steps to begin your treatment:
Preparation & Temporary Bridge Placement
Dental bridges are attached to the healthy teeth on either side of a gap in order to fill the space. The dentist must first shape the abutment teeth in order for them to be properly positioned for the placement of the bridge. A local anesthetic will be administered to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout this procedure.
Once the dentist has completed the shaping process, an impression of the shaped teeth will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory, along with a sample of the colour of your teeth. Technicians will construct the bridge on the basis of the impressions made there. The colour, size, and shape of your new prosthetic teeth will be closely matched to the colour, size, and shape of your natural teeth.
While your permanent bridge is being built, you may be provided with a temporary bridge to wear so that you are comfortable in the meantime.
Permanent Bridge Placement
It will be possible to install your new, custom-made bridge once it has been completed. During this procedure, a local anesthetic will be administered to ensure that you remain comfortable.
The temporary bridge will be removed by the dentist, who will then carefully clean the teeth surrounding the gap. When the dental bridge is attached to the abutment teeth, dental cement will typically be used to hold it in place.
Once this is completed, the dentist will show you what the bridge looks like in your mouth and ask you to practice biting down with it a few times before completing the procedure. At first, you should expect it to feel a little strange, but this will pass quickly.
Once your bridge has been installed, you can take care of it in the same way that you would take care of your natural teeth. Your dental bridge will likely last for many years if you maintain it properly with regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and checkups.