Are you missing one or more teeth? Dental Bridges are one of the most common and efficient ways of replacing a missing tooth (or teeth). If you have a missing tooth, call us at (501)268-5115, and we will be happy to set up an appointment for you to discuss your options.
WHAT IS A DENTAL BRIDGE?
A dental bridge is essentially three (or more) crowns hooked together with the middle tooth (or teeth) "hovering" and filling in the gap where a tooth is missing (see picture above). The two adjacent teeth to the missing tooth will be filed down slightly in order to fit the protective covering offered by the bridge over them.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF GETTING DENTAL BRIDGE?
Your first appointment:
As with most of our dental procedures, in order to provide the most comfortable experience, we will use a numbing agent before we begin.
An impression will then be taken of the current state of your adjacent teeth to make your temporary crown.
Once you are completely numb and ready for us to begin, we start preparing the teeth. This preparation involves removing the enamel (the outer covering of your tooth) and placing a cord that isolates the gums from the tooth.
Once the teeth have been carefully prepared for a bridge, we will take a secondary impression of the tooth to send over to our lab.
At the end of your appointment, we will apply your temporary bridge, which you will wear for two weeks while our lab is crafting your permanent bridge. During those two weeks, there is a proper way in which you should be caring for your tooth. Please reference the column below for information on how to care for your tooth following your first appointment.
Your second appointment:
The process of placing your permanent bridge is very simple and generally only takes a few minutes to accomplish. We start by removing your temporary bridge and properly cleaning away any excess glue or trapped debris. Once your bridge has been evaluated and approved for placement, we will permanently cement your dental bridge.
BEFORE YOU GET A DENTAL BRIDGE
Before making an appointment to get a dental bridge, we recommend you make sure that you will not be leaving town for two weeks following the procedure. This is because you will be wearing a temporary bridge, for that amount of time, while our lab crafts your permanent one. Occasionally these temporary bridges break or come off. If this happens, there is no need to be alarmed; however, it is best that you come in to let us make you a new temporary to wear until your permanent one has been placed. To prevent a temporary dental bridge from coming off, we recommend eating on the opposite side of your mouth, especially when it comes to food that is hard or sticky. We also suggest you do not floss the temporary dental bridge.
AFTER YOU GET A DENTAL BRIDGE
Once your permanent dental bridge has been seated, it is expected that you will continue to feel mild to moderate cold sensitivity for the next few weeks. This may continue up to a couple months. It is expected that the sensitivity should continually lessen. If it persists longer than a couple months or gets progressively worse, we ask that you contact us to set up an appointment so that we can further evaluate your teeth. It is also possible, once you leave our office with your permanent bridge, that you will need further adjustments to correct occlusion (the way your teeth come together). It is our priority, as well as the priority of our lab, to provide a custom fit, and to keep your natural occlusion. However, it is nearly impossible to get the occlusion perfect every time. In the event that your crown is slightly out of occlusion, you will require a simple adjustment or two to correct it.
OTHER BRIDGE CARE
Lastly, but certainly not least, there is a proper way in which you should floss your new dental bridge. You may already floss this way, but in the event that you do not, it is important when flossing a dental bridge that you push floss into gums, then pull straight out (versus pushing the floss into the gums and pulling back out in a way the pulls on the bridge). The cement we use to permanently seat a bridge is very strong, however, if you continue to floss in a way that tugs on the bridge, with enough years this could wear the cement out and then you will need to come in for us to reseat it for you.