When you’re missing one or more teeth, it might be impacting more than just your smile. For one, you could feel self-conscious about the way you look. Missing teeth can also impact your bite, your speech, and what you can and cannot eat. Tooth loss is pretty normal. Common causes for tooth loss include advanced decay, gum disease, and aging. Other individuals have missing teeth as the result of an accident or sports injury. Thankfully, missing teeth don’t have to dictate your life. In our offices, there are many different strategies for filling in missing natural teeth. One of the most popular choices is dental bridges.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges work by literally building a bridge between your existing teeth. We use the strong, healthy teeth surrounding your lost teeth to hold down a porcelain replacement. This replacement fills in your smile’s gaps. As a bonus, your replacement will help keep your natural teeth in better shape. This is because a bridge prevents your teeth from shifting to places they shouldn’t be. In turn, this can also help maintain the shape of your smile and facial features.
The type of bridge you will need depends on your specific situation. Traditional bridges require two strong adjacent teeth to work. Other models only require one or rely on the strength of an implant. Still, the most common option is a traditional bridge.
The Procedure for a Traditional Bridge
The procedure for receiving a traditional bridge is quite simple and routine. First, we will numb the area of your mouth that we are working on to prevent you from feeling unnecessary pain. Once you are comfortable, our team will start working to reshape the teeth surrounding your gap to ensure that they are ready for placement. These teeth will be covered with a crown, which will hold your replacement tooth in place. You can think of these crowns as the banks of a river that connect a road bridge from one side to the other. Once the crowns are placed, your replacement tooth will be attached to them, and your smile will be complete.
We understand that discretion is key when it comes to repairing smiles. We work diligently to make sure that your crowns and replacement tooth look as realistic as possible. We will take into consideration the shade and shape of your other teeth and take an imprint of your mouth to ensure the proper fit of your bridge. We also work with the finest laboratories to make sure that your replacement teeth are sturdy, strong, and beautiful. When all is said and done, people will notice that you’ve had work done, but they won’t be able to figure out what it was.
Once you leave our office, you’ll be able to get back to your normal routine with no trouble. Unlike dentures, you don’t have to worry about removing your bridge to clean or care for it. You also don’t have to worry about it falling out! In the years that follow, it’s essential that you continue caring for your bridge just as you would the other teeth in your mouth. This means completing regular brushing and flossing, as well as scheduling and sticking to regular checkups and exams. You might be surprised to learn that your dietary habits won’t be altered much by your procedure. You can still enjoy that corn on the cob in the summertime, and caramel apples in the fall! If you’re nervous, you can start with smaller bites and cut-up food.
Although your dental bridge may have to be replaced periodically, you’ll be happy to know that many insurance plans help cover the cost of this treatment. If swapping out your bridges every 5 to 15 years has you worried, you might be better suited for permanent implants.
The patients that we fit for bridges are typically thrilled with the results. If you’re ready to fill in a few gaps in your smile, bridges might just be the right fit for you, too! The best way to find out is by scheduling a consultation and discussing your options in greater detail. Our job is to give you a smile that you love in a space where you feel comfortable. We will never suggest a procedure that is unneeded or incorrect for your situation.
Contact Our Great Neck & Briarwood Dentist Today!
You will appreciate the attention to detail and quality of care you’ll receive from Dr. Cohen and his team in Great Neck and in Briarwood. Dr. Cohen has advanced surgical degrees and is passionate about healing and completing smiles. Contact our office today to schedule your first appointment.