What is a bridge?
A bridge is a fixed dental replacement for one or more missing teeth. It consists of an artificial tooth that is suspended between two adjacent teeth. This replacement is attached to crowns that are made for the adjacent teeth.
Why is it advisable to replace the missing teeth?
The loss of a single tooth can have a major impact on your personal appearance and dental health. Your teeth support and rely on each other. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can drift out of position. This can lead to a change in the bite, loss of additional teeth, decay and gum disease. Ultimately, your ability to chew comfortably and your appearance may be affected. In such situations it is advisable to replace the missing teeth.
What is the procedure involved in making bridges?
The steps involved in making a bridge are very similar to those for making a crown. At least two appointments are necessary. At the first visit, your dentist will prepare the teeth next to the missing tooth for crowns. An impression of the prepared teeth will be made and a temporary bridge will be placed. At the subsequent visit, your dentist will fit and adjust the bridge and then cement it in place.
Bridges can be made from the same materials as crowns - full porcelain, porcelain fused-to-metal, and all metal. The choice of material will depend on the aesthetic and functional requirements of the restoration.
What care will I need to take of my bridge?
Your new bridge will require special care when brushing and flossing. You may need to use various cleaning aids such as crown and bridge floss e.g. Super floss, use of water pik etc. to help you clean around and under the bridge so as to keep the plaque off and prevent further decay and gum disease. Don't worry, this will all be explained and demonstrated to you at our centre.
Will I be sore after treatment?
There is generally soreness around the gum line. Pressure and temperature sensitivity may be felt for a few days. It is not unusual for the new crown to be mildly sensitive to cold temperatures for a few weeks. This sensitivity should gradually decrease and eventually subside. However, if it is severe and does not subside you should contact your dentist. Occasionally, the bite may feel uncomfortable and may need further adjustments.
What precautions should I take after the anesthesia?
While you are numb it is very important to be careful not to bite your lip or tongue until, sensation has returned. If your child is the patient, please watch carefully to make sure he/she does not play with their tongue or lip while it is numb.
When can I eat after treatment?
Anesthesia lasts for about 3-4 hours for the lower and 2-3 hours for the upper teeth. While you are numb, a soft diet or no meal at all is probably a good idea. You can eat about 30 minutes after the anesthesia has worn off.
Do I need a root canal before a crown?
A root canal is not always required prior to crowns. However if necessary, the treatment can also be done after the crown is cemented.