Adult teeth may be lost due to a variety of reasons. These include advanced periodontal disease, trauma or decay.
If missing teeth are not replaced, your other teeth can drift out of position. The area also becomes more susceptible to gum disease and decay of the surrounding teeth.
A bridge is a restorative structure used to replace missing teeth. Bridges consist of one or more false teeth (pontics) that are held in place by fixtures that attach to the surrounding teeth. Bridges fall under two main categories, 'fixed' and removable partial dentures. Fixed bridges are cemented in place and cannot be taken out. Removable partial dentures are not permanently attached and are removed at night or for cleaning purposes.
Bridges can dramatically improve the appearance of your teeth by replacing missing teeth, or teeth that have to be extracted. The materials used to create the bridge are made to match the color of your natural teeth, while providing comparable structural support.
Traditional Fixed Bridge
A traditional fixed bridge is composed of a full artificial tooth with crowns attached to either side. These crowns are cemented over the teeth next to the missing tooth, and hold the artificial tooth in place where your missing tooth had been. Bridges are custom designed to look just like natural teeth and to fit with your bite.
In some cases, fixed bridges may be anchored using resin and metal bands instead of crowns. This may be appropriate when the abutment teeth are healthy, well anchored and free of fillings. In this case, metal anchors are affixed to the abutment teeth using a strong resin. The artificial tooth is then anchored to these bands.
Procedure for Fixed Bridge
The teeth next to the empty space will be reduced in order to receive the crown portion of the bridge. Then an impression will be taken of the whole area (the missing area and the two teeth next to it).
This impression is sent to a lab, and a bridge custom-designed to fit the area. Just as with the placement of a crown, a temporary bridge will be put in place to protect your teeth and gums while the restoration is being constructed.
Post Operative Instructions
For Dental Crowns & Bridges
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Make sure that you avoid chewing if anesthesia has been used to numb your lips, gums and tongue. Injury can result in the hours after the procedure while the anesthetic wears off if you attempt to chew normally.
Normal reactions to these procedures include gum tenderness and sensitivity to hot, cold and pressure. Sensitivity will increase with the invasiveness of the procedure. These symptoms should go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. In some cases, the sensitivity can last longer than a couple of weeks, but this is okay as long as your gums and teeth are progressively feeling better.
We recommend ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. It will help reduce the inflammation in the affected area and help eliminate sensitivity if taken as indicated. However, if the pain and sensitivity continues for more than a couple of weeks or worsens over time, please contact our office for a follow up appointment.
Temporary Crowns or Bridges
It is very important for the temporary Crown or bridge to remain on your tooth until Dr. Yurovsky seats your permanent crown. If the temporary crown becomes loose or comes off at any time, please call the office immediately. Your tooth can shift within a few hours if your temporary crown is missing, which can inhibit and delay the placement of your permanent crown. You may also experience sensitivity if your temporary comes off.
If your temporary comes off or becomes loose, please carefully replace it and call the office. It is not possible to replace it incorrectly because it only fits one way.
Please avoid hard and chewy foods, such as ice, hard candy, gum and taffy as they may pull your temporary off of the prepared tooth.
Flossing is an important part of caring for your temporary. Please release one end of the floss and pull it through the side of the tooth instead of pulling it up between your teeth.
Once the anesthesia has worn off and if your bite feels uneven, please give the office a call immediately. This imbalance with your bite may cause further discomfort and should be adjusted.