What is a Dental Bridge?

The Rogoff Dental Group team is passionate about dental health and creating beautiful smiles. As a local Santa Fe dentist, we take great pride in brightening smiles of our wonderful patients. A tooth bridge consists of two crowns on either side of the gap between teeth. The anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth. A false tooth or teeth go in between the two abutment teeth. Abutments can be made from a variety of materials such as alloys, gold, and porcelain. Porcelain abutments look like natural teeth.

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Our practice offers a variety of services. When you visit, you will have a thorough examination and the results will be clearly explained to you. If you hear you need a dental bridge, you likely have a lot of questions about what a bridge is and how the procedure is performed. Our team is happy to answer all of your questions, and you can read on to learn more about dental bridges.

What is a dental bridge?

Before you can decide whether or not a bridge is right for you, you need to understand what a dental bridge actually is. As its name suggests, a dental bridge bridges the gap between one or more missing teeth. At times, these teeth are pulled due to severe injury, decay, or infection. Some patients also have teeth missing due to genetics, while other teeth fall out on their own for various reasons.

To create a bridge, your dentist will place two crowns on either side of the gap caused by the missing tooth or teeth. Since these two teeth serve as the anchors for your bridge, they are called abutment teeth. An artificial tooth is placed between these crowned abutment teeth to complete the process. Your dentist will talk with you about abutment options, including gold, porcelain, and alloys. If you would like the bridge to resemble your natural teeth, a porcelain abutment is a great option.

What are the benefits of having a dental bridge?

Dental bridges are a popular choice among Rogoff Dental Group patients for many reasons. Some of the benefits of having a dental bridge placed include:

  • Anchoring your existing teeth into place to prevent shifting

  • Providing a health chewing position for your bite

  • Restoring your ability to speak and chew properly

  • Avoiding potential jaw and mouth misshaping

  • Giving you a beautiful, healthy smile

  • Increasing your confidence in the appearance of your mouth

What are the different types of dental bridges?

The Rogoff Dental Group offers three basic types of bridges. Your dental team will work with you to recommend the best type for your specific situation.

1. Traditional Dental Bridges

Traditional bridges are the most common and widely used style of bridge for those who need to replace missing teeth. Your dentist uses a crown to replace your missing tooth or teeth when a traditional bridge is needed. To make the bridge, porcelain is fused either to ceramics or metal.

2. Cantilever Bridges

In some situations, your natural teeth can be used to attach your artificial tooth. In this case, a cantilever bridge can be an option. However, cantilever bridges are used sparingly, and they are normally not used in the back of the mouth. This is because they often put a lot of pressure and force on the anchor teeth, which can result in further tooth damage.

3. Maryland Bonded Bridges

These bridge types are created using porcelain that is fused to metal, or plastic teeth, and they are supported by either a metal or porcelain frame. In Maryland bonded bridges, porcelain or metal wings on just one side of the bridge are bonded to your existing tooth/teeth. They are also known as Maryland bridges or resin bonded bridges.

How are Dental Bridges Created and Placed?

Several important parts of the process occur during the first visit. Dr. Rogoff will get your abutment teeth ready for the crown placement. He does this by removing a part of the tooth enamel. Next, you'll have a model of your teeth taken. We want you to have the perfect fit for your crown, so your pontic, bridge base, and crowns are created using this custom model as a guide.

These molds are sent to a dental lab, and the pieces are sent back to us in time for your second appointment. At your first appointment, a temporary bridge is placed. This keeps your teeth and gums safe and functional while you are waiting on your permanent bridge.

Your second appointment is scheduled for the placement of your new bridge. During this exciting appointment, your dentist places the bridge and makes careful adjustments to ensure the right fit. First, your bridge will be temporarily cemented into your mouth to check placement. Once the placement is correct, the bridge is permanently cemented.

If additional appointments are needed to ensure this perfect fit, our team is happy to accommodate you. Once your fit is right and your bridge is permanently placed, we know that you will enjoy your bright, natural-looking smile. Even better, you'll be able to talk and chew comfortably without uncomfortable gaps in your mouth.

How should I care for my dental bridge?

After you've invested time and money in your new bridge, you want it to last as long as possible. Once the bridge is placed, it is normal to have a mild level of discomfort as you adjust to the feel of this new piece in your mouth. However, most of our patients report very mild pain levels, and they are able to return to their regular routines very quickly.

Fortunately, your new dental bridge does not require a complicated or time-consuming care routine. However, it is important to care for your bridge properly to help it last as long as possible.

In most cases, you will care for your dental bridge just as you do for your natural teeth by brushing at least twice every day. Since food particles can get stuck in or around the bridge, daily flossing is also important.

Although all dental bridges placed by the Rogoff Dental Group are high quality, you still need to remember that they are not quite as strong as your natural teeth. Many patients find it helpful to stay away from hard or very chewy foods, such as nuts, toffee and caramels.

In order to keep your dental bridge in good shape, you need to focus on the overall health of your mouth, not just the bridge. Keeping the remaining teeth in good shape ensures your bridge remains anchored securely.

Finally, regular dental visits at the Rogoff Dental Group will help you get the maximum benefit and longevity from your new, beautiful smile. During each visit, our professionals will examine your bridge to ensure it is placed correctly and not causing you any pain.

Semi-annual professional cleanings keep your teeth and gums healthy. These are a great way to make sure that small food particles are not stuck under your bridge, which can cause decay and inflammation. Regular dental visits also provide a place for you to ask questions about your bridge and any other oral health topics.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of dental bridges, or if you are wondering whether or not this procedure is right for you, we invite you to contact the Rogoff Dental Group today to schedule your consultation. We look forward to helping you create a bright, healthy smile!

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