When one or more teeth is missing, it can greatly affect a patient's smile along with their self confidence. However, make no mistake, missing teeth can create much bigger problems aside from esthetic appearance. Tooth loss can cause a change in occlusion(bite), speech impediments, shifting of the teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder, as well as an increased risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease.
At Northern Kentucky Dental, you can replace your lost teeth without the use of a dental implant or denture. A bridge is essentially a false tooth that is held in place by being attached to adjacent teeth. The disadvantage is that the adjacent teeth must be prepared in a manner similar to a crown in order for the bridge to fit. This is not a problem if the adjacent teeth already have major restorations or crowns, but your dentist may express some concern if the surrounding teeth has little to no restorations.
Dental Bridge Procedure
We will begin by taking X-rays and impressions of the teeth requiring the bridge. Your dentist will also examine the health of your gums and other teeth to determine whether a dental bridge is in fact ideal for you. Once your candidacy is determined, you be be administered a local anesthetic to allow for the prepping of the teeth requiring the bridge.
If the teeth that will be supporting the bridge are badly broken or decayed, your dentist may have to build them back up in order for the teeth to properly accept the bridge.
Next your dentist will take an impression of the teeth to create a model to send to the laboratory, where your bridge will be fabricated so that it precisely fits your smile. It is important that your dental bridge fits perfectly to avoid future tooth decay.
Caring for your Dental Bridge
Your dentist will instruct you how to properly care for your dental bridge to maintain its performance and longevity. A specialized bridge floss threader will help you to properly floss in between the areas surrounding the bridge and between the pontic to ensure the health of your gums and teeth. Floss daily to prevent the accumulation of plaque and bacteria as well as brushing regularly with a proper fluoride toothpaste.