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