Most people are self-conscious enough about their appearance to care if they have a missing front tooth, but what happens when you’re missing a tooth that’s out of sight? Even if it’s not easily visible, any missing teeth can result in a lack of support for the teeth on either side of the gap.
Without support, the surrounding teeth gradually move into the gap, and often become loose in the process. The outcome can be the loss of several more teeth or bad alignment of your bite that causes jaw pain, difficulty eating and speaking, and potentially even headaches, but a visit to our good dentist in Surrey BC will help you discover your options.
How Dental Bridges Work
A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that spans the gap between two remaining teeth and provides a structure to carry artificial replacement teeth. It’s a permanent fixture in your mouth, which is fused to teeth on either side of the gap.
Dental bridges come in several different types, but the three most commonly used types in Canada are:
- Traditional bridges, which have one or more artificial teeth and are held in place by crowns attached to the natural teeth at each end of the bridge.
- Cantilever bridges, which are supported only on one side by a natural tooth with a crown.
- Implant-supported bridges, which are the option for patients who have more than one tooth missing.
Being fitted for a dental bridge can make the world of difference to the condition and health of your mouth and teeth, as well as maintaining the shape of your face and your ever-important smile.
Getting a Dental Bridge
Dental bridge placement is typically done in the dentist’s office, because most patients don’t need a general anesthetic for the procedure. If you’re particularly nervous about undergoing the placement, a good dentist in Surrey BC will be happy to offer you mild oral sedation, which will help you to relax, calm your breathing and reduce your blood pressure. In our practice, we use topical numbing jelly to reduce the sensitivity of your gums, then inject local anesthetic directly into the gum where the bridge is going to be placed.
The first stage of getting a dental bridge requires preparation of the teeth that will hold the bridge. Our dentist removes a small section of the enamel to allow space for each tooth to accommodate a crown, and then takes impressions and measurements of the mouth. For implant-supported bridges, X-rays are also taken and the dentist might request a CT scan as well, to see where your nerves and sinuses are located.
If you chose a traditional bridge, it’s possible you might be fitted with a temporary dental bridge and crowns to protect the area while your permanent bridge is being made. At your next visit to our good dentist in Surrey BC, the temporary fittings will be removed and your new porcelain or metal bridge installed and adjusted.
For patients who choose an implant supported bridge, you’ll need to undergo an initial surgery to place the implant in the jaw. In some cases, you might need bone grafting to build up the jawbone in the vicinity of the implant, and it takes between three and six months for your mouth to heal after the surgery. After that, you’ll need to have another surgery to uncover the implant and attach the bridge to it.
Caring for Your Bridge
A quality dental bridge usually lasts for 10 years or even longer as long as you take good care of it, according to the Canadian Dental Association. Your bridge needs to be brushed and flossed twice a day along with your natural teeth, and our dentists will show you at the time of placement how to floss under and around your artificial replacement tooth or teeth. Implant-supported dental bridges also require careful cleaning, and it’s worth having them checked during your annual visit to the dentist.
As a well-established, good dentist in Surrey BC, we’re happy to provide you with a comprehensive dental bridge cost estimate at your next consultation. Please contact us to schedule your appointment.