If you are missing one or more consecutive teeth, it’s important to consider your teeth replacement options sooner rather than later. Missing teeth can cause more than just cosmetic concerns. In fact, if left untreated, missing teeth can increase your risk for developing tooth decay, gum disease, teeth shifting, and jaw pain. As your trusted restorative dentist, Dr. Leah Romay offers a dental bridge in Glyndon, MD as a replacement option for missing teeth. She provides compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all ages.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that can replace one tooth or several missing teeth in a row. A bridge is a single piece unit that is made up of the replacement teeth, known as pontics, and dental crowns. The crowns are located on both ends of the unit and are anchored to abutment teeth, or teeth located on either side of the gap.
Dental Bridges in Glyndon, MD
Dental bridges are an affordable and effective approach to tooth replacement. Utilizing the support of surrounding teeth, dental bridges hold a prosthetic tooth in place of the missing tooth. Dr. Romay will apply the dental bridge hardware to your surrounding teeth, removing some enamel to make space for the appliance. The prosthetic tooth will be designed custom to your smile to ensure it blends in with your surrounding teeth.
Common Types of Dental Bridges
There are actually several types of dental bridges available. Dr. Romay offers fixed dental bridges, implant-supported bridges, cantilever bridge, and Maryland bridges as restorative dentistry solutions for missing teeth. The type you will need depends on several factors including the number of teeth you are missing, the health of your surrounding teeth, and the density of your jawbone.
While there are several types of bridges available, only two are commonly used. A cantilever bridge is similar to a fixed bridge however it only uses one anchor tooth. This is sometimes necessary when there is only one healthy tooth available to anchor the bridge to, however it is not suggested because it is not as durable.
A Maryland is not often used as it can only be placed if you have good oral hygiene and healthy existing teeth. Dentists will only use this if the patient is every health and needs one or two front teeth replaced. It is simply a false tooth with metal wings that are cemented to the back of the neighboring teeth.
Traditional Fixed Bridge
Dr. Romay will use a traditional fixed bridge to replace one tooth or several consecutively missing teeth. She will first need to create room for the dental crown portion of the bridge unit. To do this, Dr. Romay will remove a portion of the tooth’s structure on each abutment tooth. This will reduce the teeth in size to create room for the dental crowns. Then measurements and dental impressions will be taken to create a custom dental bridge. The number of missing teeth you have will be replaced by the pontics. When fabricated, Dr. Romay will cement the two crowns to the two prepared anchor teeth.
An implant supported bridge is different from a fixed bridge because it does not require damaging healthy teeth. The bridge unit is secured to dental implants, not teeth. At least two dental implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone. After several months, they will fuse to the bone creating a durable and sturdy base to hold the dental bridge in place. Dr. Romay will attach the dental bridge to the multiple dental implants for a superior fit. This is the only type of dental bridge that will prevent bone loss in the jaw. It is also the most durable allowing you to eat a normal diet with little restrictions. To learn more about why dental implants are the best choice for missing teeth, see The Benefits of Dental Implants.
Dental Bridge FAQs
If you need a dental bridge, please read through our frequently asked questions section to learn more about them. If you still have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our dental office for guidance. Our team is happy to answer any questions you might have about this tooth-replacement option. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding dental bridges.
How should I care for my dental bridge?
Once the dental bridge is applied to your dental structures, Dr. Romay will instruct you on how to care for it. You will need to ensure that you are brushing and flossing around and underneath the dental bridge to avoid food residue getting caught in the hardware. We also suggest avoiding excessively crunchy or chewy foods to prevent damage to the dental bridge.
Is there an alternative to dental bridges?
Dental implants are an alternative to dental bridges. While implants are a more invasive treatment option because they require a surgical procedure, many patients are attracted to the longterm benefits that they offer compared to dental bridges.
For example, dental implants do not require the same dietary restrictions and additional oral hygiene precautions as dental bridges do. Talk with Dr. Romay about if dental implants are a better option for you.
How long does it take for a dental bridge to settle?
The average patient needs two weeks to fully adjust. We recommend eating less food that is particularly spicy or cold during this period. Additionally, using sensitive tooth toothpaste for the first few days will lessen pain and discomfort.
How soon can you eat after a bridge?
After the finished bridge is set in place, we recommend waiting at least an hour before eating or drinking. For a few hours, stay away from foods that are firm, sticky, spicy, hot, or cold. Resuming your regular routine of brushing and flossing is recommended and should not harm your new bridge.
Can you use an electric toothbrush with a bridge?
You may use either an electric or standard toothbrush after getting a bridge. One of the benefits of an electric toothbrush is that they have an included two minute timer, which can help you brush for the necessary time period.
What holds a bridge in your mouth?
Dental cement is used to hold your bridge in place in your mouth. Bridges use surrounding teeth as structural support, and dental cement is used to anchor the bridge in place. You can also choose to use dental implants to secure a dental bridge or a dental crown, depending on how many teeth you are missing.
Can you bite into food with a bridge?’
Bridges function like your natural teeth, so you are able to bite and chew regularly with this restoration. The first few weeks after your bridge is placed, we recommend being careful while chewing. This is just a precaution until you adjust to the feeling of your new bridge.
Do dental bridges smell?
Bad breath should not be an issue if you regularly clean the area around your bridge. If not cleaned, buildup can result in tartar deposits, gum infections, and halitosis (bad breath) originating from your teeth. It is crucial that you clean your bridge daily.
Schedule a Consultation for a Dental Bridge in Glyndon, MD
If you would like to learn more about your tooth replacement options, please request an appointment online with Dr. Leah Romay. She will evaluate your smile and your restorative goals to come up with a treatment plan that closest meets your needs. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you revitalize your smile following tooth loss.