Dental Bridges

When a missing tooth creates a gap in your smile it can make everyday life more challenging. Eating can become difficult and many find it embarrassing to smile when an empty space is evident for all to see. Thankfully, with either implants or dental bridges you don’t have to live with missing teeth.

What Is A Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is the most traditional way to replace a missing tooth. It can be a great option when:

The teeth surrounding the gap may need work in the future or have large fillings.
The tooth has been missing for a long time which has led to bone loss, creating a less than ideal environment for an implant.

medical diagram of dental bridges

How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?

With good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings and exams, a dental bridge can last up to 15 years. The main reason that crowns and bridges eventually need replacing is due to cavities and decay. So, the better care you take of them the longer they’ll last.

How Do I Care For My Dental Bridge?

Maintaining a consistent and effective oral hygiene routine is the best way to keep your bridge in optimum shape. Choosing a healthy diet is also beneficial not only for the care of your bridges or crowns, but for your entire mouth. Avoid chewing on hard foods or substances like ice as they can damage crowns and bridges just as they can your natural teeth.

If you feel your smile could benefit from a dental bridge, call us today to schedule an appointment at 602.957.9643.

Dental Bridge FAQs in Phoenix

What Happens During My Appointment to Get a Dental Bridge?

Getting a dental bridge takes at least two appointments. Dr. Pappas will discuss what you can expect at the time of your consultation to repair or replace a badly damaged or missing tooth. If you have a severely damaged tooth that cannot be saved, the first step in treatment may be to extract the tooth. A traditional dental bridge has two crowns and a pontic (artificial tooth). The crowns and pontic are modeled to replicate your natural teeth. To achieve the optimal shape and fit, we'll take impressions of the area early in your treatment plan. Once you're ready for a dental bridge, the next step is to reduce the teeth that will receive dental crowns and serve as anchors for your artificial tooth. It takes about two weeks from the time Dr. Pappas prepares your teeth for the bridge for the final restoration to be ready. In the interim, the reduced teeth are protected by temporary crowns. At your final visit, this full bridge replaces the temporary restoration, and your natural-looking smile is once again intact!

How Long Will it Take to Get Used to My Dental Bridge?

As durable and precise as your new dental bridge is, it probably won't feel like your natural teeth right away. You may feel slightly sore or tender for a few days. Your teeth may be more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures than they were before your procedure. These normal side effects of dental bridge treatment should resolve within the first week after your last appointment. While you're recovering from the procedure itself, it can be beneficial to avoid anything that could irritate the area. Examples include hard foods, crunchy foods, and items that are hot or spicy.

Because your dental bridge contains two crowns and an artificial tooth, it can take some time to adjust. Your new teeth may feel odd to your tongue and cheeks. You may be more prone to accidentally biting these soft tissues, so take your time to eat slowly at first. Although your bridge may feel odd for up to two weeks, it should not feel loose and it should not be painful to chew. If you notice either of these things, contact the office so we can arrange an appointment to check it for proper fit and shape.

Can I Eat Normally with a Dental Bridge?

You can expect to resume most if not all of your normal habits once you get used to your new restoration. For the most part, you can use your dental bridge exactly as you do your natural teeth, with the exception of biting on hard foods or objects. You can enjoy most foods, including bagels, steaks, and chips. However, foods like hard nuts and objects like ice or pen caps should be strictly avoided. Biting or chewing these items can degrade or even damage your bridge, requiring the restoration to be replaced sooner than it would need to be otherwise.

Schedule A Dental Bridge Consultation in Phoenix

If you're missing teeth, a dental bridge could be right for you. To determine candidacy, please contact our experienced dentist today by calling 602.957.9643 or by filling out our online contact form. Dr. Pappas and his team proudly serve Phoenix, AZ and surrounding communities.

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