A missing tooth can change the shape of your face, cause your other teeth to shift, and cause problems with chewing and speaking. If you’re missing a tooth, consider a dental bridge to fill the gap and restore your smile. Magnolia Family Dental can install durable, long-lasting dental bridges to patients throughout Gainesville, Alachua, Starke, Lake Butler, High Springs, Ocala, and the surrounding Florida communities. To learn more, schedule an appointment online or call the Gainesville, Florida, office today.
A bridge is a fixed dental appliance that replaces missing teeth. The appliance “bridges” the gap left by a missing tooth and uses the surrounding teeth for support.
It’s made of an artificial replacement tooth, also known as a pontic, as well as crowns that are fused to a metal structure and fit over the surrounding teeth.
Bridges can replace one or multiple missing teeth. Your dentist can customize your bridge depending on your treatment needs.
If you have one missing tooth that’s surrounded by healthy teeth, your dentist uses the natural teeth to support the bridge. If you’re missing multiple teeth that are next to one another, your dentist may recommend installing implants, which can then support a bridge.
It’s important to get restorative treatment if you have missing teeth. Your teeth are meant to work together, and even one missing tooth can cause serious problems, including:
A bridge can correct or prevent these problems.
Bridges require two appointments to install. At your first appointment, your dentist prepares the surrounding teeth (or implants) to fit the crowns by removing some of the enamel (or filing down the implant). You receive local anesthesia, so this part of the procedure is painless.
Your dentist takes impressions of your teeth after preparing the surrounding teeth. A dental lab uses the impressions to create your bridge. While you wait for your permanent bridge, you wear a temporary bridge to protect the treatment area.
At your second appointment, your dentist removes your temporary bridge and fits you with the permanent bridge. Your dentist may recommend a follow-up appointment to make sure your bridge is working properly and make any necessary adjustments.
You may need a few days to get used to your new bridge, especially with eating, and it’s common to feel minor pain in your gums after it’s installed.
Once you get used to your bridge, it’s similar to natural teeth. You can safely eat all the same foods you would with a full set of natural teeth, and you should have an easier time talking and chewing.
Like natural teeth, bridges last longer and work better if you take care of them. Be sure to brush at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and come in for cleanings at Magnolia Family Dental every six months (or more often, if your dentist recommends it). With proper care, your bridge can last 15 years or longer.
To learn more about dental bridges, schedule an appointment at Magnolia Family Dental online or over the phone.