The Dental Bridge Procedure: What Patients Can Expect
By Dr. Mobilia on August 05, 2019
A dental bridge is an appliance that is used to fill the gap left behind by a missing tooth or multiple teeth. A traditional dental bridge is removable, and it held in place by bracing around teeth that are adjacent to a tooth gap. With a dental bridge in place, a patient can laugh, smile, speak, bite, and chew as if they had their natural teeth in place.
The team at our Midtown Manhattan restorative dentistry center fields many questions about bridges and how they're made. Let's take a moment to consider the basic procedure for creating a dental bridge.
Initial Consultation for a Bridge
The first step in the dental bridge procedure is the initial consultation. During this dental visit, a dentist can determine if a patient is an ideal candidate for a bridge. When a patient is missing many teeth, a dental bridge may not be the best option to address the tooth loss. A partial denture or full denture may be recommended instead given how they fit and are formed.
The initial consultation is also a great opportunity for patients to ask questions and express concerns that they may have about dental treatment. We can provide answers and address various topics of interest so patients can feel confident in the dental care choices they make.
Taking Impressions for a Dental Bridge
Once a patient is determined to be an ideal candidate for a bridge, impressions are taken of the tooth gap and the adjacent teeth. These impressions will be used to help design the dental bridge and ensure comfort as well as optimal strength once the bridge is in place.
Consulting Your Dental History
In addition to the impression that's taken, a dentist will also look at a patient's dental history. This will allow a dentist to note the state of the missing teeth, their overall position, and if there were any problems to consider prior to tooth loss. This helps achieve a more natural appearance to the finished bridge, and it also allows the bridge to be designed to ensure proper contact between the upper and lower teeth.
Creation of the Bridge by a Dental Lab
The dental bridge itself is not created at the practice. Instead, the impressions and instructions are sent to a dental lab that works in concert with the dental practice. The specialists and technicians at the dental lab will use this information to create a bridge that looks great and fits just right.
The amount of time necessary to create a dental bridge can vary. Your dentist will be able to give you a proper timeframe during the consultation process.
Checking the Fit of the Finished Bridge
Once the bridge is completed, it will be sent back to the dental practice. Your dentist will check the bridge for proper fit during this visit to ensure you are happy with the work that was done.
A Word About Crown and Implant-Supported Bridges
In addition to removable bridges, there are two options for fixed bridges to consider:
Crown-Supported Dental Bridges – These are bridges that have crowns on their side, which are used to cap teeth adjacent to the tooth gap and hold the bridge in place.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridges – These are bridges that snap into place over dental implants. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots surgically embedded into the jawbone and gum tissue.
The crafting of the bridge in both of these cases is similar to a removable bridge, though additional steps are involved. We can go over these fixed bridges options with you in more detail during a consultation.
Learn More About Dental Bridges
If you would like more information on dental bridges and whether or not they are an ideal option for you and your needs, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist today. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.
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“My overall experience with Dr Nick Mobilia and Elite Dental Arts was amazing. His facility is clean, welcoming and comfortable. Also, the entire staff is congenial, well-educated, highly skilled and enthusiastic about what they do.” Stephanie B