What Are Dental Bridges?
Losing a natural tooth impacts far more than just the appearance of your smile. Missing one or more teeth can cause changes in your bite (how your upper and lower teeth fit together) and may affect your ability to speak and eat with normal function. Tooth loss also creates gaps in the smile and may cause neighboring teeth to shift or drift out of their proper alignment. To restore function and replace a missing tooth in your mouth, our dentists at Made Ya Smile Dental are happy to offer dental bridges.
A dental bridge is an appliance made of two or more dental crowns that attach to existing teeth on either side of a missing tooth. Bridges effectively fill open spaces in the arch and return a natural appearance and biting function to your smile. At our modern Houston, TX family dental practice, we offer custom-made fixed and removable bridges in a variety of high-end materials to help you overcome the loss of natural teeth. Missing teeth to do not have to impact your health and wellness. Learn if a dental bridge is the right tooth replacement option for you by scheduling a consultation with our friendly, experienced dental group.
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What Are the Benefits Of Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are a common option for long-term tooth replacement. Dental bridges at our Houston, TX office are provided not only to fix gaps in the teeth but to prevent further damage to the jawbone. Some common benefits our patients mention are:
- Prevents surrounding teeth from becoming misaligned
- Restores the appearance of your smile
- Improves ability to eat
- Improves ability to speak
Is a Dental Bridge Right for Me?
The importance of replacing missing teeth is more than just filling gaps in the smile. Tooth loss can lead to a diminished facial profile along with the inability to speak confidently and eat a wide variety of nutritious foods, all of which can impact your general comfort and wellness. If you have one or more teeth missing in a row, addressing your tooth loss with a custom dental bridge can bring health and confidence back to the smile. Bridges can also restore equal biting distribution to your mouth, help maintain the shape of your jaw and face, and keep existing teeth in their proper places.
Fixed bridges are cosmetic and restorative appliances that offer a natural appearance and are custom-shaped and shaded to match surrounding teeth but do rely on neighboring healthy teeth to work. These restorations are typically made up of three or more crowns that are connected together. Each end of the bridge (abutment) attaches securely over teeth located on either side of the open space or two dental implants placed within the jawbone. The middle crown (pontic) replaces the missing tooth and offers a natural aesthetic.
We offer fixed and removable traditional, implant-supported, cantilever, and Maryland-bonded bridges made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal to match your surrounding enamel shade. In some cases, we can fabricate a bridge completely out of a high-end metal, such as gold. A personalized consultation with our Made Ya Smile Dental team can determine if your surrounding teeth are healthy enough to support a bridge and help you choose the option best suited for your oral health needs.
How Are Dental Bridges Placed?
To prepare your mouth for a fixed bridge, we will first administer local anesthetic to provide comfort to treatment areas. We also offer sedation dentistry if you are nervous about visiting the dentist. Our talented team will remove a portion of the enamel from teeth situated on each side of the open space to allow the ends of the bridge to fit completely over the tooth structure as these teeth will be your bridge support. An impression of the teeth will be taken and forwarded to our lab for custom creation of your dental bridge, which takes about 1 – 2 weeks. In the meantime, you will wear a temporary bridge to enable normal eating, speaking, and appearance. When your permanent bridge arrives in our office, we will have you return for us to cement your tooth replacement in place over supporting teeth or attached securely to your dental implants. Our dentist will check your bite to ensure comfort and make adjustments as needed.
Removable bridges are also custom-crafted by our lab from impressions taken of your upper and lower teeth. A removable bridge attaches to surrounding teeth through plastic or metal clasps and typically does not require any preparation of these support teeth. This type of bridge can easily be placed within and taken out of the mouth for home care activities.
How Can I Care for My Dental Bridge?
Following your bridge prep visit, you should avoid eating until the numbness in your tongue, lips, and cheeks has worn off. Your teeth may feel a little sensitive for a few days once your temporary bridge has been placed. If you happen to lose your temporary or permanent bridge or it becomes loose, please contact us right away so that we can replace it quickly. Your temporary restoration is holding the place in your mouth for your permanent bridge, which may not fit properly if you do not replace a temporary that comes loose.
Daily maintenance with good home care technique is important to keeping your supporting teeth cavity-free and surrounding gum tissues healthy. Home care is a little different when you have a fixed bridge so our team will show you how to brush and floss effectively around and under your new bridge at your final appointment. At your routine exam and cleaning appointments at Made Ya Smile Dental, our dentists will check your bridge to ensure it is still servicing your needs as it should be. Your tooth replacement with a dental bridge can last for many years to come when it is cared for in the best possible way.
Will My Insurance Cover a Dental Bridge?
Your dental insurance may cover a portion of your dental bridge procedure. Our team will contact your provider to review your specific plan details and coverage amounts. We are happy to accept most PPO plans and can work with you to cover your costs if you do not have insurance or if any out-of-pocket expenses occur. Made Ya Smile Dental wants all patients to have access to affordable care and accepts several flexible payment methods, including convenient patient financing with CareCredit®.
Dental Bridges FAQ
How long will it take for a dental bridge to feel normal?
Most patients find dental bridges to feel comfortable in around two weeks. Avoiding hot and cold foods and using sensitive toothpaste may help with pain or discomfort.
Is it possible to eat normally with dental bridges?
Dental bridges look and function like natural teeth. No foods are off-limits, meaning you can resume your eating routine after placement.
How long do bridges last?
A bridge can last up to a decade or more with proper oral hygiene. Incorporating brushing and flossing twice daily, maintaining teeth cleaning appointments, and preventive care will extend life. Contact our team to learn more if you require a dental bridge in Houston, TX.
Restore Your Smile After Tooth Loss
Replacing even a single missing tooth is important to your overall health, confidence, and normal daily function. Without proper care, missing teeth may cause the need for more extensive and costlier care down the road. Our skilled, experienced team of dentists at Made Ya Smile Dental is pleased to offer fixed and removable bridges customized for your oral health to replace missing or damaged teeth. Get the smile solutions you need from a team focused on delivering superior results for our patients. Reach out to Made Ya Smile Dental in Houston, TX today and schedule your treatment consultation with our dentists.
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