Get to Know Dental Bridges

When you are a child, losing a tooth is exciting. When you’re an adult, not so much. Having a full set of teeth is important, not just for the sake of appearance. Your teeth affect your ability to speak, chew food, and drink liquids. When one falls out, all of those abilities can change. However, installing new dental bridges at your Houston dentist can restore your speech, eating, and drinking capacity.

What are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges replace one or two lost teeth with false teeth suspended by a bridge of dental framework. Each dental bridge uses metal framework for a secure construction and other materials such as porcelain for a natural appearance. The bridges rest between two caps or crowns on teeth adjacent to the gap.

The dental bridges must fit perfectly in order to be comfortable. Your Houston dentist uses a cast to get an accurate layout of your whole mouth. From this cast, the dental lab fashions a false tooth and crowns that span the gap in your mouth. The fashioned dental bridge matches the size and shape of the teeth around it so it looks natural.

How do Dentists Construct Dental Bridges?

Constructing a dental bridge requires at least two visits to the dentist.

  • The first visit is for preparation. This includes preparing the teeth adjacent to the gap and creating the cast of your mouth.
  • The second visit is for installation. This is for actually placing and securing the dental bridges.
  • A third visit is not often necessary, but if the dental bridges don’t fit correctly, they need adjustments. The lab reconstructs the dental bridge, and your dentist installs it on a third visit.

Visit Breakdown

First Visit

During the first visit to your Houston dentist for dental bridges, you will receive dental sedation before the dentist begins. This sedation reduces the amount of discomfort a patient feels during a procedure. Next, the dentist files down the teeth adjacent to the gap. The teeth need filing in order to fit a crown atop them. The crown serves as an anchor point for the dental bridge.

Next, the dentist creates a cast of your mouth. This shows the dentist and the dental lab exactly how your teeth fit together, how large they are, and their shape. From this cast, the dental lab creates a perfectly sized and shaped dental bridge.

In Between the First and Second Visit

Your dentist sends you home with a protective covering for the filed teeth. Over the next few weeks, the dental lab uses the cast of your teeth to create a dental bridge. They use a metal framework combined with other materials like porcelain, resin, or other metals to construct a false tooth and two caps.

The bridge is constantly compared to the cast, ensuring that it fits well. Once the bridge perfectly matches the cast of the teeth, you return to the dentist.

Second Visit

Your Houston dentist installs the dental bridge on your second visit. They carefully place it, moving it and adjusting it very slightly until it sits comfortably. Once you feel it’s most comfortable, the dentist uses a special resin to bond the caps to the filed teeth. They will ask you to confirm the comfort level of the bridge.

If for any reason the bridge does not sit comfortably, inform your dentist. They may need to have another one constructed. An ill-fitting dental bridge is not only uncomfortable, it also leads to infections.

Visit Your Houston Dentist

If you have a missing tooth, make an appointment with your Houston dentist today for a consultation. Dental bridges restore the ability to speak, eat, and drink effectively, and they boost the confidence of patients who regret the loss of a tooth.

Dental bridges are also permanent installations, unlike dentures. You clean them just as you would your regular teeth. With proper care, dental bridges can last upwards of 10-15 years.