Dental Bridges – Lawrence, KS
Gaps In Your Smile
Are you missing one or more teeth? You’re certainly not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss and the detrimental effects that come with it. While tooth loss certainly becomes more common with age, people at every stage of life can loose one or more of their pearly whites due to circumstances like sports injuries, accidents, genetics, and poor oral health. Fortunately, at Kansas Center for Sedation Dentistry, we can bridge those gaps in your smile quickly and easily using a custom-made dental bridge! Read on to learn more about this classic restoration and give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is used when a tooth is missing altogether, or when there are several consecutive missing teeth. The bridge consists of two dental crowns on either end. They support between them one to three replacement teeth depending on your needs. The two dental crowns are placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap being filled (called abutment teeth). This seamlessly fills in the empty space! Like individual crowns, bridges can be made from an all-ceramic material that blends in perfectly with the rest of your smile.
Types of Dental Bridges
Every patient’s situation is different. When we evaluate your mouth during your consultation and discuss your goals for your smile, we’ll recommend one of two different types of dental bridges we offer:
Traditional Dental Bridges
This classic type of restoration has been used to help replace missing teeth for decades. Bridges are carefully crafted to look as lifelike as possible, and oftentimes once they’re in place, they’re impossible to distinguish from the rest of your natural teeth. In general, a traditional dental bridge can last 5-15 years or longer.
Note that for traditional bridges to be placed, a small amount of enamel needs to be removed from the abutment teeth to secure them. However, this step won’t be necessary if you get a dental bridge supported by implants. Instead of relying on abutment teeth, implant bridges rest on one or two small titanium posts embedded in the jawbone to replace the roots of missing teeth. While this option requires more time and money, it feels, functions, and looks just like a natural tooth and can last for a lifetime with the proper care!
The Benefits of Getting a Dental Bridge
Replacing your missing teeth with a dental bridge is about so much more than completing your smile and improving your appearance. By filling in the gaps in your mouth with your dental bridge, you’ll be able to eat, talk and smile like you normally would. The bridge also stops your other teeth from drifting out of position and helps properly distribute the forces of your bite. Eliminating the space also makes it easier to maintain optimal oral hygiene.
Dental Bridge FAQs
You’re likely to have questions if this is your first time getting a dental bridge to replace any number of teeth. At Kansas Center for Sedation Dentistry, we work with all kinds of patients, and we always love having the chance to help them learn more about the care we offer so that they can be fully confident in their oral health decisions. Below are answers to some of the dental bridge questions that we hear regularly. If there’s anything else you want to know, please reach out to us!
Can You Take a Dental Bridge Out?
Dental bridges are not meant to be removed from your mouth. They are designed to stay anchored to your natural teeth or dental implant posts at all times. Only a dentist can remove your dental bridge. If your bridge ever falls off, you need to make an appointment to have it reattached as soon as possible.
Some patients get confused because partial dentures – which are designed to be taken out of your mouth – are sometimes referred to as removable bridges. While both can be used to replace multiple teeth at once, a partial denture is held in place with a metal clasp whereas dental bridges simply rest on your teeth.
How Long Should a Dental Bridge Last?
Most dental bridges last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. The materials used to make the dental bridge can make a difference, with metal bridges usually lasting longer than metal-free ones, but the difference is typically very small. Much more important is the kind of care you give your dental bridge. Brushing every day, breaking bad oral habits like nail-biting, and attending regular dental checkups all go a long way towards helping your bridge last as long as possible.
Do Dental Bridges Feel Natural?
Your mouth will need time to adjust to a dental bridge, but after a few days, it will start to feel natural. The materials used to make bridges allow you to chew as comfortably as you could with your regular teeth. Also, the bridge will be designed based on an impression of your mouth, allowing for a perfect fit; this means that your dental bridge won’t even be noticeable much of the time. Some people even forget that they even got a bridge to replace their teeth in the first place!
How Do I Clean Under My Dental Bridge?
You need to take the time to clean under your bridge to prevent cavities and gum disease from forming under the restoration. There are a few different methods for doing this, such as:
- Looping a piece of floss through a threader to guide it underneath your bridge for gentle cleaning.
- Using an interdental bridge that can easily slide under the restoration to remove any debris.
- Using a Waterpik or another water flosser to clean the area under your bridge with a steady stream of water.