Getting Your Smile Back with Dental Bridges
Losing your teeth can affect more than how you look and feel about yourself. It changes the way you eat and talk, and may even increase the risk of damage to the rest of your teeth and gums. Dental bridges (also called partial dentures) are a popular and effective procedure for correcting tooth loss: it restores your ability to eat and speak properly, maintains natural teeth alignment, and provides lip and cheek support to preserve your facial features.
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies offers fixed (permanently attached) and removable bridges, which are recommended according to your individual condition. Fixed bridges are non removable and offer almost the same stability and strength as natural teeth, which is ideal for patients who have retained most of their jaw structure and density. Removable bridges are better suited for patients who have lost significant lip, cheek, and jaw support, because they provide internal reinforcement for the mouth and face. They are also generally less expensive than fixed bridges, and are easier to clean and maintain.
Considering the Benefits of Dental Bridges
The popularity of dental bridges can be attributed to the fact that it is a practical and versatile solution for replacing missing teeth and restoring your appearance. Because they are made from strong and non-toxic materials, they can last up to 15 years (sometimes even longer) with good oral hygiene and maintenance. Dental bridges can preserve and promote your dental health by:
- Restoring your ability to eat and speak normally again
- Evening out the bite pressure among the rest of your teeth
- Preventing the rest of your teeth from moving out of place, and from getting cracked or chipped
- Protecting your gums
Though bridges have obvious cosmetic benefits, it also qualifies as a restorative dental procedure—which means that most dental insurance plans should cover a significant portion of the treatment. There is also no special care required; just practice regular oral hygiene and avoid destructive habits (i.e. chewing hard substances, grinding teeth, playing sports without a mouth guard, etc) and your bridge should last for years before it needs replacing.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
Getting a dental bridge generally takes at least two office visits. During the first visit, the teeth that will anchor your bridge are prepared, which involves thinly shaving the enamel to allow for crown placement. Impressions of your teeth and gums are made, which will be used as the model for your customized bridge, pontic (prosthetic tooth), and crown. These are then sent to the dental lab for manufacturing, which usually takes between one to two weeks to complete. In the meantime, you will wear a temporary bridge to protect your exposed teeth and gums.
At your second appointment, the temporary bridge is removed and your new bridge is checked for look and fit. Your dentist should be able to make adjustments on the spot, depending on your condition and the type of bridge you have. Otherwise, followup office visits may be required to ensure proper fit and bite.
How Do I Know if Dental Bridges Are Right for Me?
You should consider dental bridges if you:
- Are missing one or more teeth
- Would like to eat and speak normally again
- Want to maintain the shape of your face
- Want to prevent further damage to your remaining teeth and gums
- Are looking for a cost effective solution that lasts for years
If you are curious about dental bridges and would like to know more about your treatment options, or if you would like an appointment, call our Fort Collins dental office today at (970) 223-6101. For your convenience, you can also reach us after normal business hours by submitting a contact request or appointment reservation online using the form below.