Gaps and spaces in between your teeth not only put a damper on your smile but can pose a serious health concern as well. Missing teeth increase the chances of the developing periodontal (gum) disease or tooth decay. Everyday actions such as chewing, smiling and speaking may be more difficult with missing teeth.
As a leading restorative and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Robert Milner offers several options for replacing missing teeth at his practice in Mission Viejo, including dental bridges. Dental bridges are a popular choice as they can realign an altered bite, restore normal chewing ability, prevent oral health problems and improve the appearance of your smile. Read on to learn more about dental bridges and whether they are right for you.
Can I Benefit from a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge may help restore your smile and oral health if you have one or more of the following issues:
- One or more missing teeth
- Problems chewing or speaking due to missing teeth
- Teeth that are shifting due to gaps in your smile
- Jaw pain and other problems caused by an uneven bite from missing teeth
A Dental Bridge Custom-Made to Match Your Smile
There are several types of dental bridges to choose from, and Dr. Milner will work closely with you to choose the one that best fits your needs and goals. A traditional dental bridge consists of an artificial tooth supported on either side by a dental crown. The crowns fit over the teeth adjacent to the gap, and an artificial tooth bridges the gap. A cantilever dental bridge is made of two crowns side-by-side and an artificial tooth and is used when there are teeth on only one side of the gap. A resin-bonded bridge consists of an artificial tooth fused to metal bands. The artificial tooth fits into the gap and the metal bands are attached to the backsides of the teeth on either side of the gap.
The health and beauty of your smile are important to us. We work with a dental laboratory that crafts quality restorations from strong, durable materials. Your bridge will be tailor-made to match your existing teeth for seamless results.
Dental Bridge Placement
The dental bridge placement typically takes place over the course of two visits to our office. During your first visit, Dr. Milner will prepare your teeth by reshaping the tooth or teeth that will surround the gap. He will then make an impression of your mouth to create a bridge that properly fits your bite. One or more temporary crowns will be placed on the tooth or teeth to prepare it to support the bridge.
Once your bridge is ready, you will return to our Mission Viejo office for placement. Dr. Milner will position the bridge and make any last-minute adjustments to ensure it fits properly. He will then bond the bridge into place with a strong adhesive.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Bridges
What are the advantages of a dental bridge?
Compared to other tooth replacements like implants, dental bridges can be placed in a relatively short period of time and without requiring oral surgery. This means you can quickly reclaim a complete smile and the ability to bite, chew and speak clearly and comfortably. Bridges prevent the other teeth from drifting out of their normal position and tilting into the gap left by one or more missing teeth.
Is the process of placing a dental bridge painful?
You should not expect any pain during the placement of your dental bridge. The affected tooth or teeth will be completely numbed so you do not feel anything. If the area becomes sore as the numbing medication wears off after the appointment, you can take over-the-counter pain medication.
Will a new dental bridge require any special care or upkeep?
You will need to brush and floss your bridge daily to get rid of bacteria and food particles. Your dentist can recommend tools to help you floss, as it can be challenging to floss under the false tooth of the dental bridge.
You should see Dr. Milner at least twice a year to have your bridge checked and professionally cleaned.
Also, you should avoid biting down on any hard objects like shells or pen caps that could crack or damage your bridge.
How long will a dental bridge last?
Dental bridges can last up to 10 to 15 years with the proper care and maintenance. You can prolong the life expectancy of your dental bridge by keeping it clean and seeing Dr. Milner regularly for check-ups.
Trust Us with Your Smile
Dr. Milner believes that function is just as important as appearance. Your new dental bridge will be durable and beautiful, and can last for many years with the proper care. Our dental team will gladly share tips on caring for your dental bridge.