Bridging the Gap to Dental Health

by | Apr 3, 2013 | Health

Dental bridges, or fixed partial dentures, are one of the most common procedures performed by a Round Rock cosmetic dentist and are used to “bridge a gap” caused by missing teeth. Missing teeth have adverse effects, both on cosmetics and overall health, including an unsightly smile, difficulty biting and chewing, speech impediments, spacing problems, and an increased risk of TMJ and periodontal disease. Similar to implants or permanent dentures, a bridge replaces the missing teeth.

A Round Rock cosmetic dentist offers several types of bridges. Traditional bridges are the most common kind and are formed by two crowns or “abutment teeth” with a false tooth or teeth, called a pontic, in between. Traditional bridges are made of porcelain and metal or ceramics. When there are not teeth on both sides of the gap, a cantilever bridge is employed. In this type of bridge, the abutment tooth is only on one side of the pontic. The third type of bridge is a Maryland bonded bridge or resin-bonded bridge, which is used to replace single teeth. In this type of bridge, metal wings are cemented to the teeth on either side. Because it is less durable, it is less common than the other two types

After a cosmetic dentist works with a patient to determine the best type of bridge to use, she will give a local anesthetic before removing a thin layer of enamel from the teeth to be crowned. She will then take molds of the teeth. In some cases, a Round Rock cosmetic dentist may have to restructure the surrounding teeth if they have decay or significant external damage. She will give the patient temporary crowns while the molds are sent off to a lab. When the bridge is completed, the patient will return to the dentist’s office, where she will fit the bridge into place. Often, she will apply temporary cement and ask to patient to come in for follow-ups to make sure the bridge fits correctly. When she is sure that everything is in place as it should be, she will attach it with permanent cement.

With proper maintenance, dental bridges usually last ten years or more. Those with bridges (and even those without) should brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and floss daily. A dentist can provide special floss for bridges that will allow patients to floss between the pontic and the gum. Recovery from bridges is very easy, and, in fact, should make eating and speaking easier. For those looking to improve their dental health qualified Round Rock cosmetic dentist can provide patients with bridges that will leave them feeling better and looking younger and healthier.


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