There are many different types of restorative dentistry that Riverstone Family Dentistry can help you with today. One which you may wish to consider is bridges.
What a Bridge Is
When you're missing one or more teeth in an area in your mouth, we may recommend a bridge. This is a fixed dental restoration that joins artificial teeth together here where you're missing teeth. It's attached to your adjacent teeth, which are called abutments (a.k.a. anchors). Once the bridge is in place, we'll give you some replacement teeth that are known as pontics. These will attach to the crown and cover the abutments.
Why Consider Getting a Bridge
When you're missing more than a single tooth in the same area of your mouth, you should consider getting a bridge. This is because we can connect three or more crowns here for you to fill in this space. We can connect as many as four teeth in this area for you if you have enough teeth to connect with crowns. Once in place, you'll be able to enjoy the full function of your teeth again - including eating and speaking properly. You also won't have to worry about your bite changing because of shifting in your teeth or bone loss causing your facial structure to change.
The Procedure for Getting a Dental Bridge
Your bridge is built to rest on the healthy teeth that surround it. We will need to shape these teeth properly before fitting your bridge. For this, you'll be given local anesthetic. Once you're sufficiently numb, you won't feel any pain. Since this will take more than one appointment, we'll give you a temporary bridge to wear during the time between having your teeth shaped and having the bridge permanently fitted. There shouldn't be much pain involved with this either.
The Lifespan of a Dental Bridge
Since your dental bridge is built to attach itself to your surrounding teeth, you'd think it'd be permanently cemented into your mouth. However, this isn't the case: You can remove it to clean it unless you get a fixed bridge - one that's cemented in place. Regardless of what type of dental bridge you get, it'll last 5-15+ years if you maintain good oral hygiene and get regular checkups.
Cleaning Your Dental Bridge
Cleaning a dental bridge really isn't any different than cleaning your own, natural teeth. You can floss around your gums in this area and along the bridge's base. Make sure you always use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a soft, back-and-forth motion. This will help remove any plaque in and around the area. Of course, this is how you'll want to clean all the teeth in your mouth anyway so honestly, it isn't any different than what you're already accustomed to doing.
Now you should have a better understanding of what bridges are and how they work. If you feel that this may be a good option for you, contact Riverstone Family Dentistry at (360) 326-1443. We'll gladly set up an appointment to discuss this treatment option with you.