There are many reasons why patients may lose teeth including poor dental care or an accident that has knocked out a tooth. No matter the cause, it is important to replace any missing teeth in order to maintain your oral health. In certain cases, a dental bridge that bridges the gap between teeth is the answer! Dr. John A. Garza and his staff are skilled in tooth replacement and restorations for all scenarios.
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements that help maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth. Bridges are either fixed or removable. Fixed bridges are cemented to the existing teeth and do not come out while removable bridges can be taken out.
What Can a Bridge Fix?
Our staff commonly uses a dental bridge to:
- Restore your smile
- Reduce your risk of gum disease
- Restore your ability to bite and chew
- Improve your speech
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Types of Dental Bridges
At the office of John A. Garza, we place three different types of bridges including:
Fixed bridges are also known as traditional bridges and are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are the most common type of dental bridge and are made either of porcelain fused to metal or of ceramics. Placing a traditional bridge involves a crown or implant on either side of the missing tooth with a false tooth in between.
Resin bonded bridges
Resin bonded bridges are also known as Maryland bonded bridges. These bridges are primarily used for your front teeth and are less expensive than a fixed bridge. Patients may receive this type of bridge when they have healthy teeth and no large fillings. In order to place a resin bonded bridge, a false tooth is fused with resin to metal bands and then bonded to the adjacent teeth and hidden from view. A benefit of resin bonded bridges is that they require minimal preparation of the adjacent teeth.
Lastly, Dr. Garza offers cantilever bridges which are commonly placed in areas of the mouth that are under low amounts of stress. Dr. Garza recommends cantilever bridges when there are teeth on only one side of the open space.
Dental Bridge Procedure
In order to create and place your bridge, there are several steps Dr. Garza and his staff need to take.
First, Dr. Garza will prepare the adjacent teeth. This involves removing some of the enamel so that we can place a crown over the teeth.
Next, Dr. Garza will take impressions of your teeth. These will be sent to a laboratory so they can create the bridge, pontic, and crowns to custom fit your mouth. This step may take 2 to 3 weeks. Therefore, while your bridge is being made you will be given a temporary dental bridge to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
On your second and final visit, Dr. Garza will remove and replace your temporary bridge with the new, permanent bridge. Once he determines that the bridge fits properly he will cement it to your teeth.
“Who loves the dentist, no one right? I don’t love going to the dentist by I fully trust Dr. Garza and his team. They have always been honest and helpful. Even when the dental discount program I had wasn’t covered here, I still came to Dr. Garza. Another dentist told me that I couldn’t get a bridge and HAD to have implants. I went for a second opinion with Dr. Garza and I was able to get a bridge. I will never go to another dentist.”
Bridge Placement Recovery
Replacing missing teeth should make eating easier. However, until you adjust to the bridge, Dr. Garza recommends that you eat soft food cut into small pieces. For a few weeks after receiving a bridge, it is common to experience increased sensitivity to extreme temperatures. Patients that had difficulty speaking with missing teeth should start noticing that their speech becomes clearer over time.
Dental Bridge Results
With good oral hygiene and regular visits to Dr. Garza’s office for cleanings, patients can expect their dental bridge to last from 5 to 15 years, sometimes longer. Practicing proper oral hygiene will prevent the build-up of bacteria on your teeth and gums.