If you’re missing a tooth, a dental bridge can restore your smile and bridge the gap with a prosthetic tooth. Not only can Juliet Bulnes-Newton, DMD, Diplomate-ABDSM, at Westchase Esthetic Family Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, restore your smile, but replacing a lost tooth also improves your ability to chew and speak clearly. Learn more about dental bridges by calling the practice or scheduling an appointment online.
Dental bridges are a solution for replacing missing teeth. There are fixed bridges, also called fixed partial dentures, and removable bridges.
A fixed bridge is permanently attached to the teeth on either side of the gap caused by the missing tooth. The bridge cannot be removed unless the dentist takes it out. Fixed bridges are nearly as strong as your natural teeth.
Fixed bridges are held in place by your natural teeth on either side of the gap, crowns, or dental implants.
Removable bridges attach to the backside of your teeth with small clasps. This type of bridge is easily removed for cleaning.
Filling the gap caused by missing teeth is important. First, having large spaces between teeth may cause difficulty chewing, eating, or speaking clearly. When you don’t have all of your teeth, it puts additional stress on your remaining teeth and the gums where the teeth should be.
In addition to improving your oral health, dental bridges can also restore your teeth. Bridges look and function just like your natural teeth.
At Westchase Esthetic Family Dentistry, getting a bridge takes two visits.
The dental team first reviews your medical and dental history and conducts an oral exam. They also take X-rays to look for any cavities that can’t be seen by the naked eye. If you’re a candidate for a bridge, your dentist removes a thin layer of enamel from the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to prepare them to support the bridge.
Next, the dental team takes a series of scans and impressions that get sent to a laboratory for manufacturing your bridge.
You return to Westchase Esthetic Family Dentistry after the laboratory completes your bridge and it is attached to the surrounding teeth. If you are getting a removable bridge, the clasps are secured to your teeth.
Bridges usually last a long time, but their longevity depends on whether you care for them properly. Good oral health is essential to maintaining the look and functionality of your bridge. Sticky foods can damage your bridge, and a high-sugar diet can cause the teeth supporting the bridge to decay.
If you grind your teeth or participate in sports, wear a mouthguard to add an extra layer of protection.
To find out if a bridge can replace your missing tooth, call Westchase Esthetic Family Dentistry or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment today.