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Whether you’ve had teeth missing for some time or you’re in line for a tooth extraction, it’s likely that smile restoration has crossed your mind. One of the options our Washington, MI, dentist offers for patients in your position is a natural-looking fixed dental bridge.
Here’s what you need to know about dental bridges and when it may be time to consider getting one.
Exploring Dental Bridges
Appropriately named, a dental bridge literally “bridges the gap” left by one or more missing teeth. It is a fixed, or permanent, solution that replaces lost teeth and gives you a beautifully natural smile.
Bridges can also be supported by dental implants if natural teeth are not present.
Common Reasons for a Dental Bridge
Every patient is different. Dr. Lesinski will need to examine your entire mouth to determine what will work best for you. We may even find that other restorative solutions like dental implants are the more appropriate choice.
The dental bridge procedure may be recommended for:
- Severe tooth decay
- Trauma or injury to the mouth
- Periodontal disease
- Medical issues that prohibit the placement of dental implants
- Older age
What You Can Expect For the Procedure
First, Dr. Lesinski will start by preparing the adjacent, or abutment, teeth that will help support the bridge. The teeth will be reshaped and recontoured enough to allow for crown placement. Once this stage is complete, impressions of the teeth can be made.
We’ll then use these impressions to fabricate the bridge, crowns, and false tooth that will rest in between. While the bridge is being constructed, we will give you a temporary bridge to wear so exposed teeth and gums are properly protected.
Dr. Lesinski will remove the temporary bridge and place the permanent version once all components are ready. Finally, he’ll make sure your bite and the fit of the bridge are correct. If anything feels off, please let us know and we will make alterations as needed.
How a Dental Bridge Can Help You
There are many advantages to having a dental bridge placed. The most obvious benefit is that they can help improve the appearance of your smile. This alone can provide a noticeable confidence boost and make it all worth it.
Dental bridges can also:
- Restore your ability to talk and chew food
- Help maintain the natural shape of your face
- Improve your speech or pronunciation
- Prevent your remaining teeth from shifting into undesirable positions
- Re-adjust your bite to properly distribute the force when you chew
Tips for Everyday Care
Your dental bridge will need to be taken care of to ensure your mouth remains healthy. You will have to be extra diligent about practicing oral hygiene habits after the permanent bridge is placed.
For example, the area where the fake tooth rests on the gums is difficult to clean and can result in plaque buildup. To combat this, rinse with mouthwash often, brush twice a day, and floss daily underneath the bridge.
Oral hygiene habits such as these will reduce inflammation and prevent cavities from occurring at the edge of the bridge. You may find that you need floss threaders or a water flosser to accurately reach areas underneath and in between.
Learn to Love How Your Smile Looks
Our dentist in Washington, MI, wants you to show your smile off proudly! If all it takes is a dental bridge, we urge you to come into our office so we can discuss the procedure. Call Washington Family Dental today at (586) 752-4545 or contact us online to schedule your next appointment.