Dental Bridges Overview
After tooth loss, the need to restore your oral health goes far beyond improving the look of your smile. Losing even a single tooth can have a dramatic effect on your ability to speak and eat normally and may result in changes to how your upper and lower teeth bite together. When gaps are created in the arch, surrounding teeth may begin to drift into these open spaces and affect the alignment of your teeth. Dental bridges are a common method for replacing missing teeth to bring health and appearance back to your grin.
Dental bridges can be fixed or removable and fill open spaces left in the smile by the loss of natural teeth. Made of two or more crowns molded together, a dental bridge uses teeth on either side of the gap to anchor in place. Bridges allow you to eat and speak with greater ease and can help prevent shifting of surrounding teeth and changes to your bite. If you have lost a tooth, make an appointment to talk with restorative dentists Dr. Joe Prasifka or Dr. Trey Nguyen. Our skilled team of dentists at Made Ya Smile Dental in Sugar Land, TX customize fixed and removable dental bridges using a range of materials and can help you choose the best solution to take back your smile after tooth loss.
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Best Candidates for Dental Bridges
Leaving missing teeth unreplaced causes more than a cosmetic issue. The loss of natural teeth may affect your general well-being by impairing your ability to eat a nutritious diet and speak with confidence and changing how your teeth bite together. Dental bridges help patients overcome tooth loss who are missing one or more teeth in a row or within the same area of the mouth. These restorations restore function and help to redistribute biting forces in the mouth while also maintaining a natural shape to face and jaw. Bridges also help to keep surrounding teeth in their proper places and prevent them from shifting gaps left in your smile from missing teeth.
In addition to restoring confidence and oral function, bridges offer a natural-looking appearance and are custom-colored and shaped to blend with your existing teeth. Dental bridges can be made up of two or more dental crowns that are molded together to form a single unit. With fixed bridges, each end (abutments) is permanently bonded over neighboring teeth or to dental implants while removable bridges attach to support teeth through plastic or metal clasps. The center portion of a bridge (pontic) is what replaces the missing tooth and appears to rise from the gumline up for a natural appearance.
At Made Ya Smile Dental, our dentists can help you determine the type of dental bridge that best meets your needs, budget, and cosmetic goals and whether your existing teeth can offer the strength needed to support your tooth replacement. Our practice offers removable and fixed, Maryland-bonded, cantilever, and implant-supported bridges made of high-quality porcelain fused to metal, ceramic, and all-metal materials.
What To Expect with Dental Bridges
During your bridge procedure, our team will take special care to ensure your comfort. Sedation dentistry options can also be discussed if you feel nervous about visiting the dentist for treatment. We begin the bridge procedure by numbing the treatment areas and then removing a small amount of enamel from the teeth designated to support your bridge. This allows the ends of the bridge to fit comfortably over these teeth and provide strong anchors for your tooth replacement. Our team will then take an impression of the area and send this off to our dental lab where your custom bridge will be made over the next 1 – 2 weeks. To maintain the space and enable oral function during this time, we will create and place a temporary bridge. Once your permanent bridge is complete and arrives in our office, we bring you back in and bond permanently in place or attach it firmly to your dental implants. Your bite will be checked for comfort and any necessary adjustments will be made by our dentists.
If you are receiving a removable bridge, we generally will not have to do much prep work to your teeth. We will take an impression of the missing tooth area and partner with our dental lab to create your custom-made bridge. When your bridge is ready, you will return to our office to try it for comfort. Dr. Prasifka or Dr. Nguyen can make any necessary adjustments to ensure an excellent fit for your tooth replacement.
Dental Bridges Follow-Up
If you received anesthesia for your bridge procedure, it is best to wait to eat until the full feeling has returned to your mouth. You may notice some tooth sensitivity following your bridge prep procedure, but this should resolve once the permanent bridge is in place. Please call us right away if your temporary or permanent bridge feels or becomes loose so that we can reattach it as soon as possible. Since your temporary bridge is maintaining the space for your new permanent bridge, changes in teeth positioning may occur if you go anytime without your temporary restoration in place.
Keeping your bridge free of plaque and food debris is important to protecting the underlying teeth and gums. The teeth supporting your bridge can still develop cavities so daily flossing and brushing habits are important to protecting your smile. Since flossing around a bridge is a bit different than between natural teeth, our team will show you how to effectively clean under and around your bridge. With proper care, your new bridge can last for several years. Maintaining regular appointments for cleaning and exams can help ensure your bridge serves your smile for as long as possible. This also gives us a chance to check the health of your teeth and bridge on a routine basis.
Dental Bridges Insurance Coverage
Dental bridges may be covered in part by dental insurance. Before starting your procedure, our administrative staff will get in touch with your provider to learn about your specific coverage amounts. Made Ya Smile Dental is a provider for most PPO dental insurance plans and will file your insurance claim for you. We want to help you get the best possible care for your smile and will work to help you maximize your benefits or find treatment solutions that meet your needs and budget. Our Sugar Land, TX practice accepts several convenient payment methods and can provide information on no-interest payment plans with our financing partner, CareCredit®.
Dental Bridge Restorations
Losing even a single tooth can have a major impact on your health, confidence, oral function, and appearance. When left untreated, tooth loss can result in future needs that require more time and money to address. Dental bridge restorations are a common method of replacing missing teeth and bring harmony back to your smile. Dr. Prasifka and Dr. Nguyen are highly experienced in creating fixed and removable bridges in a variety of materials to meet the unique needs of our patients. To work with a Sugar Land, TX team dedicating to delivering exceptional results for your grin, contact Made Ya Smile Dental and schedule a treatment consultation for a bridge today.