Dental Bridge Treatment in Everett, Washington
Are you missing one or more teeth? Replacing lost teeth has a number of esthetic and health benefits, and a dental bridge is just one way to achieve this.
A tooth bridge is a natural-looking restoration which is fixed in place using adjacent teeth or implants as anchors. Unlike dentures, you don’t have to worry about a bridge falling out when you eat or speak. However, it is not the right solution for everyone.
At Perfect Smiles Dentistry we offer affordable dental bridges in Everett, WA. Take a look at the different types available, or book an appointment to see if this is a suitable treatment for your missing teeth.
What is a dental bridge?
A bridge is a type of fake tooth which is held in place by the neighboring teeth or by implants. Traditional bridges can be made to replace one or two missing teeth in a row, provided the anchor teeth are strong enough and in good enough condition to support the prosthesis. Patients missing more teeth than this will need to consider an implant bridge or dentures.
A tooth bridge can be placed in almost any position in the mouth, although at Perfect Smiles we prefer to place them only on the back teeth. If you are missing a tooth at the front of your mouth, we would recommend a dental implant for better esthetics and functionality.
When made from tooth-colored ceramic, bridges look and feel just like natural teeth. You can forget all about your missing tooth and start to eat and smile with confidence again.
How does a bridge differ from a dental crown?
A dental crown acts as a cover to protect and strengthen a tooth which has been damaged by decay or trauma.
It is placed over the remaining healthy tooth structure and secured in place with dental cement.
A crown can also be fixed to an implant to replace a single missing tooth.
In contrast, a bridge consists of two or more teeth ‘units’ in a row. The end units either attach to other teeth (called abutment teeth) or to dental implants.
Types of dental bridge
The types of dental bridge differ in the way that they are secured in your mouth. Here are the main options:
Traditional dental bridges
Tooth bridge materials
Dental bridges can be made from metal, ceramic, or a combination of the two.
Full ceramic bridges are the most esthetically pleasing since they look just like natural teeth. Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) comes in a close second, although a dark line may begin to show at the base of the crowns over time, so we usually recommend ceramic-only to our patients.
Silver-colored bridges are usually the cheapest, but don’t look great. And some patients opt for gold bridges, which are typically the most costly.
Dental bridge procedure at Perfect Smiles Dentistry
If you visit our dental practice for a tooth bridge in Everett, Washington, you’ll probably need to make 4 visits in total. Here’s what to expect at each appointment:
Appointment 1: Assessment
A detailed clinical examination and an x-ray will confirm whether you are a good candidate for a dental bridge. Your dentist will explain your options and discuss the best treatment for you.
Appointment 2: Teeth preparation and temporary bridge placement
The next step in the dental bridge procedure is to prepare the abutment teeth by shaving off a thin layer of enamel. After this, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth. The lab will use these to make your bridge a perfect fit. A temporary bridge is placed to cover the abutment teeth while the lab makes your prosthesis.
Appointment 3: Permanent bridge placement
Once the bridge is ready, you’ll return to have it placed. Your dentist will check that it fits properly in your mouth, and they may make some small adjustments before cementing it in place.
Appointment 4: Follow-up
At your final appointment, your dentist will confirm that the treatment was successful and the bridge is functioning as expected.
Does it hurt to get a tooth bridge?
We want all our patients to feel as comfortable as possible when they visit us. Before beginning this treatment, your dentist will numb the area in your mouth so you don’t feel a thing.
You may experience some soreness after having a temporary or permanent bridge placed, especially around the gumline, while your mouth gets used to the new prosthesis. If this happens, you can take OTC painkillers to ease any discomfort.
Caring for a bridged tooth
Dental bridges can be expected to last for ten years or more if the abutment teeth and surrounding gums remain in good condition.
To prolong the life of your dental bridge you can:
Follow your dentist’s advice immediately after treatment. You may be told to avoid certain foods and drinks for a while.
Clean your bridge carefully. Your toothbrush won’t reach right around the fake tooth, so it’s important you floss every day to remove food particles and plaque. An oral irrigator might make the task easier.
Avoid sticky foods. Although your bridge is firmly cemented to your teeth, it’s best to avoid very sticky foods like toffee.
Quit smoking. Tobacco use contributes to a whole host of oral health problems, and any restorative treatment will likely last longer if you quit.
Are there alternatives to dental bridges?
We’ve already mentioned that implants are really the best way to replace a missing tooth, but why is that? Well, the implant inserted into your jaw bone mimics a natural tooth root and stops the bone from deteriorating. This helps stop your face from sagging after you lose a tooth. Implants are also very secure and natural-looking, and they should last a long time.
If you are on a tight budget, you might prefer dentures as a more affordable option. Dentures are versatile and can replace one, several or all of your teeth. These false teeth are removable, which some people see as a downside, and they can also be uncomfortable if they don’t fit perfectly.
Affordable dental bridges in Everett, Washington
Dr. Kavitha Gowda and the team at Perfect Smiles Dentistry are proud to serve the community of Everett, WA and beyond with affordable and esthetic dental restorations. Book an appointment today to discuss the best way to restore your smile, whether with a dental bridge or another treatment.