Dental Bridges Calgary
A dental bridge is a fixed restoration used to return form and function that has been lost due to a missing tooth. A bridge is similar to a crown in that it fully covers an existing tooth; however, two crowns cover the adjacent teeth of the missing one and an additional tooth is fabricated in the centre to fill the space in which the tooth is missing. A bridge helps maintain the bite by preventing the adjacent teeth from drifting out of place which can cause stress on the jaw bone, as well as gives the aesthetic appearance of all teeth being intact.
During the bridge preparation appointment, an initial impression is taken of the teeth that will be receiving the bridge. Local anesthetic is administered, and the dentist then shapes the existing tooth on either side of the space. Once the teeth have been shaped and prepared by the dentist, a second impression is taken which is sent to a dental lab where the bridge is fabricated. Before ending the appointment, a temporary bridge is made from the initial impression and cemented to help maintain the space and reduce any sensitivity while the bridge is being made. The making of the bridge can take between 1-2 weeks. Unless the dentist advises a specific material, you as a patient have the choice between what type of material you would like your bridge to be made of. Different materials differ in cost. Typically they are made of porcelain, metal covered with porcelain, or gold. When the lab has completed fabricating the bridge, the patient will return for a subsequent appointment for removal of the temporary bridge and cementation of the permanent bridge, so long as the margins meet and the bite is correct. On occasion, the bridge may not fit as well as the dentist would like, in which case a new impression would be made and the temporary bridge is re-cemented. Though this does not happen often, it is still a possibility.
The life span of a dental bridge is dependent on the care one takes of it. They need to be properly cleaned like a regular tooth as plaque can sit along the margins of the bridge and create cavities that can alter the bridge. If decay is to grow under the bridge, it will need to be removed and assessed if restorable for a new bridge. If not, the tooth may need to be removed and an alternate replacement is required. Unlike a crown, the space between the gum and the fake tooth needs to be kept clean of plaque as well. If food or plaque is built up underneath, this can cause the gums to become inflamed. A floss threader, which helps loop the floss underneath the bridge, can help clean under it. Regular brushing and flossing as well as annual check-ups to your dentist can definitely help prevent this from happening.