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Dentist in Kirkland, WA explains the dental bridge procedure to replace missing teeth

Tooth supported fixed bridge. Medically accurate 3D illustration

A mouth full of beautiful, healthy teeth conveys confidence and well-being to your coworkers, friends, and family. If you are missing one or more teeth, you may limit the amount you smile or feel embarrassed when you are speaking, eating, or laughing. Dental bridges are one of several ways to restore your smile by replacing missing teeth. Dr. Ann Kelley, trusted family dentist in Kirkland, WA, explains this effective option for replacing missing teeth and what to expect during the dental bridge procedure.

Dental bridges explained

When you have one or more missing teeth, there are a few different ways to replace the teeth to make your smile look natural and healthy again. Dental bridges are one of the traditional methods of restoring missing teeth. They “bridge” the space created by a missing tooth with three crowns that are placed side-by-side. The crown in the middle replaces the missing tooth and the two outer crowns are anchored to your healthy natural teeth on each side of the gap.

Bridges can be made from a variety of materials, such as gold, silver, or porcelain. At Kingsgate Dental, Dr. Ann Kelley is committed to mercury-free dentistry so that your dental restoration does not negatively impact your overall health.

Benefits of dental bridges

Dental bridges are highly effective at not only improving the appearance of your smile but also the function of your teeth. Benefits of dental bridges include the following:

  • They help you speak and eat naturally by restoring the natural speech and chewing functionality of the tooth that was missing
  • Bridges help stop your healthy teeth from shifting around in your mouth and causing bite problems due to the extra space caused by the missing tooth
  • They don’t move around in your mouth like dentures do because they are permanently affixed to your teeth, so they are more comfortable and easier to live with
  • Bridges can help reduce your risk of jawbone loss due to your missing tooth

Dental bridge procedure: what to expect

Young lady smilling with showing her brighter teeth

The first step in getting a dental bridge is to schedule a consultation with your dentist about your missing tooth to determine the best treatment plan for your unique needs. To place a dental bridge, the teeth on each side of the gap need to be healthy enough to support the bridge, and your gums also need to be healthy. There are other dental restoration options your dentist can discuss if a bridge is not the best choice for you.

Once you have decided on a dental bridge treatment plan with your dentist, you will likely schedule two appointments to have your bridge placed. In the first appointment, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the areas surrounding the missing tooth and the two healthy teeth surrounding it. This will make it so you don’t feel pain during the procedure. Next, the dentist will shape the healthy teeth so that the crowns that can be placed on the teeth. This step is necessary so that the crowns have enough space to be placed on the teeth and are not larger than your other healthy teeth. Once the teeth are shaped and resized, the dentist will take an impression of these teeth so that they can be sent to a laboratory where your custom-fitted bridge will be created. After the impressions are made, the dentist will place a temporary bridge over the teeth so that the reshaped teeth are protected until the permanent bridge is in place.

On the next visit, which will typically be about two weeks later, the dentist will remove the temporary bridge and permanently affix the custom-made bridge onto your teeth. The dentist will make any adjustments needed to properly fit the bridge in your mouth so it looks and feels natural.

If you take proper home care of your bridge, which includes daily brushing and flossing and regular dental hygiene checkups, it can last up to 15 years or possibly longer.

Schedule your consultation today

Dr. Ann Kelley is experienced in dental bridgework and is well-equipped to take care of your family and cosmetic dentistry needs. Dr. Kelley’s first priority is to listen to and address your concerns as a patient, and she is committed to providing the highest quality of care and comfort. Call the Kingsgate Dental office, conveniently located in Kirkland, WA, at (425) 385-0080 to schedule your consultation today!


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Dr. Ann Kelley is a graduate of the Creighton University School of Dentistry in Omaha, Nebraska. She highly values the comfort of her patients, and places the needs of the patient above her convenience. Her dental clinic is built to bring the best and most comfortable dental experience to all her patients. She builds relationships with her patients based on trust and always acts to safeguard this trust.

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Damen CReviews on Google
 - 5 Star Rating Review I have gone to Kingsgate Dental for about two years now, and every experience has been excellent. Dr. Kelley is very knowledgeable and very thorough with her analysis of the issues that I have faced with my teeth. The staff is polite and always happy to answer any questions that I have and give me pointers to improve my dental hygiene. I will continue to go to Kingsgate Dental/Dr Kelley for years to come.
Kathy WReviews on Google
 - 5 Star Rating Review By Kathy W Dr. Kelley and her staff are a treasure. State of the art equipment, As a past Dental Administrator for a very large practice in Lynnwood, am soo happy to know that Dr. Kelley, her hygenists who have been there for over 20 years, are bar none the most indepth and through a cleaning as you would ever find. I have never felt more then a slight prick when getting novocaine. Between numbing the gum and gentle procedure they also offer nitroux, for us real scaredy cats. Music, neck pillows and blankets all make the experience truly enjoyable. I had gone too many years neglecting my teeth and found through Tammy, my hygenist and Dr. Kelley they were able to put together a plan to save the teeth they could and design partials for the ones I could not afford to save. I am a small business owner with no insurance and yet they came up with a plan that I am so happy with. I am without any infection, so much healthier and the partials Dr. Kelley designed are like a second skin. From Jackie and MaryAnn at the front desk to the assistants, hygenists and Dr. Kelley you will be in professional and caring hands. I recommend to all my family and friends.
Damen CReviews on Google
 - 5 Star Rating Review By dixy i Great experience. Dr. Kelley and her staff made me feel less anxious about the whole thing. Great job on the crown too! I've already recommended two friends! If I was staying in the Seattle area I'd definitely return.

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