How Do Dentists Bridge Teeth?
In this blog we will be outlining all you need to know about how dentists bridge teeth, including the assessment, first appointment, second appointment and aftercare information.
The initial assessment
The first step in a dental bridge procedure is to carry out an initial assessment to evaluate the need for restorative treatment to replace teeth, and whether a bridge is the best option. This involves comparing different dental treatments, such as dental crowns or dental implants, and assessing their suitability to the individual.
Once a dental bridge is decided upon, the dentist will thoroughly examine the area and take X-rays of the jaw to fully understand the situation. Next, the different dental bridge options will be discussed with the patient, including the type & design. This allows the patient to comprehend the different advantages and disadvantages of their available options.
At the first appointment
During the first dental bridge appointment with your dentist, the strength of abutment (supporting) teeth will be checked, and it will be decided whether they are sufficiently strong enough or if an alternative option might be a better solution. If the abutment teeth are strong enough then your dentist will be prepared in order for them to be an appropriate shape for the bridge placement. A local anaesthetic may be used for the procedure to ensure the individual is comfortable throughout. Some types of bridges do not require much preparation and therefore local anaesthetic may not be required.
Impressions, or digital scans, are then formed and sent to a laboratory in order to begin construction of the chosen dental bridge. A sample colour of existing teeth is also taken, this way we can ensure that the dental bridge teeth colour matches well. In some scenarios, a temporary bridge may be needed in order to safeguard the shaped abutment teeth and ensure no damage occurs while the permanent bridge is being prepared
At the second appointment
The second appointment takes place once the permanent dental bridge has been constructed and is ready to be placed. As with the first appointment, a local anaesthetic may be utilised to ensure patient comfort. Before the permanent bridge is situated, the temporary bridge is removed, and any underlying teeth will be cleaned. Dental cement will then be applied in order to ensure a secure fix of the dental bridge on the abutment teeth.
The individual will then be able to see the results in the mirror and test out biting their teeth together gently. If there are any major issues raised from this exercise, then final adjustments will be made to the bridge to ensure maximum security and stability. If any major concerns are raised regarding the comfortability of the bridge, then the patient should be assured that while it feels unusual at first, they will become familiar with the dental bridge very soon.
Looking after a dental bridge
Following the dental bridge procedure your dentist will deliver some simple aftercare instructions to ensure patients knows what to expect going forward and understands how to maintain the dental bridge. Additionally, the recommended oral care will be instructed as well as a follow up appointment, and advice on when to seek further dental advice. Assuming that the instructions are followed, then a dental bridge can often last over 10 years.