Dental Bridges In Encino, Los Angeles, CA

Dental Bridges Are A Terrific Solution For Missing Teeth Replacement When Implants Are Not An Option

Not only is having a missing tooth or teeth not ideal for cosmetic reasons, but it is also very dangerous to the health of the surrounding teeth and gums, as well as a patient’s overall oral health. It is even dangerous to the jaw!

If you have a tooth or teeth missing, or you need to have a tooth removed, you’ll want to speak with your dentist about having a dental bridge placed.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a dental appliance that consists of a false tooth or teeth (pontic) that are placed in the gap where a tooth or teeth are missing, as well as abutments—which are crowns placed on the healthy teeth surrounding the gap to keep the dental bridge in place.

While dental bridges are often made from porcelain or zirconia, they can also be made from metal alloys or gold. Part of the decision for the materials used to construct the dental bridge may be based on the budget of the patient.

Why a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is often necessary to fill the gap where a tooth or teeth are missing. This may be due to a tooth or teeth being knocked out, falling out or needing to be removed due to issues like decay.

When a tooth is missing, there are multiple options for replacement—with dental bridges being one of them. While implants are a popular option, if the jawbone cannot support an implant, dental bridges may end up being a better option.

While many people think that implants and dental bridges are merely cosmetic, in reality they are necessary for a healthy mouth and jaw. When a tooth or teeth are missing, the gap can create a variety of different oral health problems.

One major concern is tooth migration, which is when the surrounding teeth move into the gap where the tooth or teeth are missing. This can cause massive problems, including:

  • Issues with the bite.
  • Difficultly brushing—which leads to disease and tooth decay.
  • Changes in the shape of the jawbone.

Not taking care of a gap between teeth is a major mistake, and can lead to massive damage that may be impossible to repair.

Different Types of Dental Bridges

There are different types of dental bridges, and the type of dental bridge your dentist and you decide on depends on your needs.

The most common dental bridge is the fixed bridge, which involves two crowns (abutments) that hold in place the pontic (false tooth or teeth). There are also Cantilever and Maryland bridges. Maryland bridges are generally used to replace front teeth, and involve porcelain or metal being bonded with the abutment, then being attached with metal bands. A white-colored composite resin is used to hide the metal bands.

Finally, there are Cantilever bridges. These bridges are used on one side of a missing tooth or teeth. With a three tooth Cantilever bridge, there are two abutments that are placed side-by- side to hold the pontic in place.

All three of these forms of dental bridges have their advantages, and the type that is chosen will generally depend on the needs of the patient.

Dental Bridge Process

The first step is a patient visiting a dentist as soon as a tooth falls out, is knocked out or has signs of decay. From there, the dentist will decide how to handle the gap where the tooth or teeth are missing, or to pull a tooth or teeth that may need to be pulled.

Your dentist will x-ray your teeth and jaw to see the extent of any damage, and to consider the integrity of the jawbone. If the jawbone is in good condition, the dentist may decide to go ahead with an implant. If the jawbone cannot support an implant, though, a bridge will likely be the best solution.

Once the decision is made, the patient will set an appointment to have their teeth reshaped to support the crowns (abutments). Once this is completed, an  impression will be made and will be sent out so the bridge can be constructed.

Once the prosthetic is complete, the dentist will have the patient come in to have the bridge placed. First, the bridge will be tested to ensure that it is a proper fit for the patient. If the bridge does not fit properly, a second impression will be made and sent over for a new bridge to be created. The dentist will also check the bridge to ensure it matches the surrounding teeth.

From there, the dentist will permanently cement the dental bridge in place.

Dental Bridge Aftercare

Once the procedure is complete, there may be some mild pain and discomfort. Generally a dentist will advise an over-the- counter medication. Check with your dentist to see if this is a good option for you.

While the pontic and crowns are not real teeth, proper oral care is still necessary to ensure your gums, surrounding teeth and your overall oral health is maintained. This means properly brushing, flossing and washing out your mouth at least twice a day.

Remember that if you have a missing tooth or teeth, your healthy teeth and jaw may begin to shift—causing severe and even irreparable damage. This is why it is extremely important to set an appointment with your dentist as soon as a tooth is lost. If a tooth needs to be removed, create a replacement plan with your dentist, and make sure to keep your appointments. The sooner the gap can be filled, the better.

Dental bridges are an excellent tooth or teeth replacement option, as they give the patient a lot of support while chewing and biting, while also giving the cosmetic appearance of a complete and natural smile. The procedure for placement is also extremely simple, and can be done in as little as 2-3 visits.

Speak with your dentist about dental bridges, and see if they are the right option for your continued oral care.

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Sargon Dental Institute

16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite #350
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 380-9057