Your teeth serve many important functions. When you lose your teeth, even just one, your smile, and your oral health are both greatly affected. Eating and speaking, once simple tasks, become difficult. Your teeth can shift from their natural position into space, altering your bite. Your confidence may even be affected. At National Dental Douglaston, we offer many options for restoring missing teeth. One of the options available is a bridge.
WHAT IS A BRIDGE?
A bridge is designed to “bridge” the gap left behind by a missing tooth. It can typically be used to replace up to 3 consecutive missing teeth. The replacement tooth (or teeth) is surrounded on both sides by dental crowns. These crowns are meant to anchor onto the healthy teeth adjacent to space, and hold the bridge securely in place. The bridge restores your smile, along with the function of your teeth and health of your mouth.
HOW ARE BRIDGES PLACED?
The process for a bridge is fairly similar to getting a crown. For the bridge to be placed, the adjacent teeth, known as abutment teeth, need to be prepared. This involves removing some of the enamel of your teeth so that the bridge can fit perfectly in with the rest of your teeth. Next, we take an impression, which is sent to our lab. The lab uses the impression to create your custom bridge. The bridge is made from ceramic, which will be finished and polished to perfectly match the color and shine of your natural teeth.
It can take up to two weeks for your bridge to be completed. Once done, we check it for fit, and to make sure the color matches. If everything looks good, the restorative bridge is cemented in place.
HOW LONG DOES A DENTAL BRIDGE LAST?
With appropriate care, your bridge can last 15 years or more. While the bridge doesn’t require any special care, it should be treated exactly like the rest of your natural teeth. This means you should brush the bridge twice a day and floss around it. While the bridge cannot experience decay, it can still collect the plaque and bacteria that can cause decay to your other teeth, as well as gum disease. You should also avoid chewing on hard foods, ice, and your fingernails, as these actions could cause damage to the ceramic, just as they can to your natural teeth. Moreover, regular dental visits will allow us to monitor the health of your bridge, ensuring that it is not compromised.
BENEFITS OF A DENTAL BRIDGE
Bridges have several benefits:
- Restored eating and speech
- Better digestion (and better health)
- Better oral health
- Holds adjacent teeth in their natural positions, preventing them from shifting and causing other issues
- Perfectly blends in with the rest of your teeth, restoring your smile
- Restored confidence
If you are missing teeth, a bridge is a great way to restore the beauty of your smile, and the functions of your teeth, all while allowing you to maintain the health of your mouth. Call National Dental Douglaston today at (718) 557-9882 for more information or to schedule your appointment!