What Are Dental Bridges?
Bridges are fixed (non-removable) replacements for missing teeth usually made of porcelain fused to metal. As the name suggests, they are placed in the gap where teeth are missing connected to real teeth on either side of the gap. To hold the bridge in place, the two anchoring teeth are reshaped and reduced in size to allow for the bridge to be set. A Dental Bridge is an option for filling the gap created by a missing tooth and is formed to look like the missing tooth it’s replacing.
Why Dental Bridge?
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Every tooth uses their neighboring teeth for support, and with one missing tooth the surrounding teeth will start to shift and loosen. As this condition worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.
Bridges are cosmetic dental procedures that work well to create an even and natural looking smile. Individuals that have missing or broken teeth due to decay, accidents, tooth grinding (bruxism), or illness can greatly benefit from dental bridges. A bridge is designed to replace the missing teeth, and is supported by the surrounding natural teeth. Dr. Kanani is highly experienced in cosmetic dentistry, and he considers dental bridge work an art he has mastered. There are various materials that are used in dental bridges, and the material choice depends on various factors. It is common for patients to be embarrassed to smile after loosing their teeth. Bridges are aesthetically pleasing and completely functional, they can give you back the confidence to smile again. But more importantly, they stop your other teeth from shifting out of position, otherwise, spaces from missing teeth can cause your other remaining teeth and your gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
Who Is A Good Candidate For A Dental Bridge?
There are many different oral situations that can make someone a good candidate for dental bridge work. If you have two to three missing teeth specially in areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, you are great candidates. Individuals that have years of damage to their lower teeth due to grinding and clenching are also good candidates. There are some people that grind their teeth to the point where they are damaged beyond repair and need to be extracted. By placing a bridge in the spaces where the teeth have been extracted, the patient will have a brand new smile and increased confidence. For individuals that grind their teeth, Dr. Kanani may recommend a professional mouth guard to be worn at night so the new teeth remain protected. Teeth grinding is a habit that can be stopped, and the introduction of a mouth guard has reversed this condition in many patients.
If you have been in an accident and have lost your front teeth, a partial bridge is a great option. Dr. Kanani can place a bridge that is a perfect match to the permanent teeth, and the bridge be safely supported by the surrounding teeth. Accidents can cause damage to the tooth roots and many times the entire tooth root will need to be extracted. If this is the case, Dr. Kanani can surgically place a dental implant (man made tooth root) and fasten the bridge to the implant. Bridges are a great option for individuals with various dental issues, and Dr. Kanani will assess your individual situation and advise on the best course of treatment regarding dental bridges. If he feels you may benefit from a different procedure, such as placement of dentures or dental crowns, he will advise accordingly.
Dental Bridge Procedure
If Dr. Kanani has decided that you are a good candidate for a dental bridge, your first dental appointment will consist of preparing the teeth for the placement of the bridge. The mouth will be numbed, and the dentist will shape the surrounding teeth in order for the bridge or crown to fit properly. They will then make an impression of the area in order to send it to the dental lab for a permanent bridge to be created. You will be given a temporary bridge to wear meanwhile; this will keep your teeth and gums protected. Dr. Kanani will give you specific instructions on how to floss and clean your teeth during this time in order to prevent damage to the area. Dr. Kanani may also give you what is referred to as a Flipper, which is similar to a temporary bridge. It is a false tooth that is attached to the roof of the mouth with dental plastic or dental wire, and this will also help keep the surrounding teeth and gums safe during the time your permanent bridge is being created. Dr. Kanani’s office will contact you when the permanent bridge has been sent back from the lab. At your next appointment, the permanent bridge will be placed once Dr. Kanani has determined that the bite is correct and the bridge fits comfortably in your mouth. You will then be given instructions on how to care for your bridge and surrounding teeth in order for the bridge to work properly and last a long time. You will want to schedule regular checkups with Around The Corner Dental Spa so your teeth can be properly cleaned and so Dr. Kanani can check to make sure your bridge is functioning properly.
If you are ready to take the next step and give yourself the smile makeover you have been hoping for, Around The Corner Dental Spa in Woodland Hills is here to assist you.
Contact us for an appointment and Dr. Kanani to discover the right option for you.