What are Dental bridges?
Dental bridges are a fixed prosthesis for restoring the space of a missing tooth utilizing the adjacent teeth. The adjacent teeth act as posts to hold an extra tooth in the middle and basically bridge the gap. Dental bridges can be 3 units (if only one tooth is missing) or more depending on the number of missing teeth. For example if you are missing 2 teeth next to each other you will need a 4 unit bridge (the two adjacent teeth acting as posts to hold the two missing teeth in the middle, bridging the gap).
It is very important to make sure the adjacent teeth are healthy enough to hold the bridge in order to avoid future complications. It is not recommended to bridge a very long span of missing teeth due to possible fracturing of dental bridges. In this case, in order to make the bridge more stable, more than two teeth are needed to hold the bridge in place.
If for any reason a tooth is extracted you are left with a space. It is extremely important to fill this space as soon as possible to avoid problems. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction of bad things. If a lower tooth is lost the opposing tooth starts to move down until it is lost as well.
Teeth use their neighbors for support and with one missing they start to “fall”. This can eventually result in problems with the entire bite, dentition and the TMJ (jaw joint). The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they too are lost. When teeth are shifted out of place it becomes more difficult to properly clean them causing gum and bone disease, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.
Dr. Jafarifar can help you determine if a bridge is the best choice for you. Keep in mind that other options such as implant or a partial denture are also other options for filling the space. One of the advantages of getting and implant as oppose to a bridge is the ease of flossing. With a bridge you need to use special flossing methods to clean under the bridge. Your dentist or hygienist can assist you with this.
A bridge can be made of full porcelain or porcelain fused to metal or full metal. Depending on the requirements for strength or esthetics your dentist will choose the best type of material to be used in your bridge.
How long does it take to get a dental bridge and what is the process?
Normally it takes two appointments to finalize a dental bridge. During the first appointment our Las Vegas dentist will prepare the adjacent teeth to the space. The preparation is done in such a way that enough room is created to place a bridge and not cause any problems with the bite. In order to do this the teeth holding the bridge will be reduced in size.
Once the preparation phase is completed an impression of the area will be taken. This impression is used to construct your new bridge. You will be given a temporary bridge on your first appointment which will do the job for 2 weeks until your final bridge is ready. You will be given the chance to choose the color of your bridge during this first appointment. On the second appointment simply the temp bridge will be removed and your final bridge will be cemented on permanently. It is important for you to see the final bridge before it is cemented to make sure you are happy with the shape and color.
Dental Bridges Las Vegas
If you would like a second opinion or would like to consult with Dr. Jafarifar about possibly getting a bridge please feel free to call us at our Las Vegas office.