20131112-dental-0018A bridge replaces a missing tooth while preventing the remaining teeth from tipping and moving. If missing teeth aren’t replaced, more force is put on the remaining teeth, which can cause these teeth premature structural failure.

For a bridge, the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth are prepared for a crown and then a solid unit is created to span the missing tooth. A bridge is most successful when replacing only one tooth. Using a bridge to replace more than one can put more force and stress on the existing anchor teeth. Implants are a better option to replace more than one missing tooth, as implants don’t compromise the adjacent teeth with additional force.

Bridges are usually made of metal internal structure, but under certain circumstances, they can be made from non-metal materials. To adequately clean a bridge, you must thread floss under it daily.

Bridge and 3 crowns
A bridge and 3 crowns

What to expect after a bridge
Bridges require two appointments. At your first appointment, you’ll receive a temporary bridge. You’ll receive your permanent bridge at the next appointment. If your tooth has just been extracted, you may need to wait as long as three months before receiving your permanent bridge, as the tissues must heal and the bone and soft tissue must mature first. If your tooth hasn’t just been extracted, you’ll receive your new or replacement bridge in approximately three weeks. Temporary bridges are made of plastic, so don’t chew any hard or sticky foods or items that could break or remove it. If it does break or come off, notify Dr. Wright right away for repair.

After your first appointment, your soft tissues may be a little sore. To reduce this soreness, rinse your mouth with salt water the first day. You shouldn’t experience any discomfort that over-the-counter pain medications can’t relieve. If you do experience additional discomfort, notify our office. You may experience minor temperature sensitivity, but not any lingering temperature sensitivity or spontaneous pain. If you do, notify Dr. Wright immediately.