Crossing the Bridge: A Guide to Dental Bridgework

Are you missing one or more teeth? If so, you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, an estimated 35 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Luckily, dental bridgework is an accessible solution.A dentist works on installing dental bridgework for his patient

Dental bridgework is a common solution to the problem of missing teeth. A dental bridge can help improve your appearance and help maintain your oral health. If you’re thinking of getting dental bridgework, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about dental bridges.

 

What is Dental Bridgework?

Missing teeth don’t just affect your appearance; they can also change your speech. Additionally, your existing teeth will become crooked as they shift to fill the open space.

Dental bridgework fills the gap before your teeth have a chance to. A dental bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth, made of porcelain, gold, or other metal alloys. They are usually held in place by attachment to your existing teeth.

There are several types of dental bridges. These include:

  • Fixed bridges: Also called traditional bridges, these are the most common type of bridges. Fixed bridges are attached to healthy teeth, which are covered by dental crowns.
  • Cantilever bridges: This type of bridge is attached to a healthy tooth on just one side.
  • Resin-bonded bridges: Also called Maryland bridges, this type of bridge is attached directly to healthy teeth instead of crowns.

 

Am I a Candidate for Bridgework?

If you’re thinking about a dental bridge, the first step is to talk to your dentist. Your dentist will consider your overall oral health. According to the American Dental Association, the success of a bridge depends on a healthy foundation. For a bridge to be properly supported, you must have existing teeth with strong roots. Some patients will need root canal procedures before having bridgework put in place.

 

How Much Will Bridgework Cost?

The cost of bridgework varies according to the number of teeth you’re missing and the type of bridge your dentist recommends. In general, bridges may cost between $700 and $1,500 per tooth. Fortunately, most dental insurance plans will pay some portion of the cost. If you’re concerned about pricing, it’s best to contact your dental insurance company to find out what percentage they will cover.

 

Are Bridges Permanent?

Bridges do not last forever, but they can last between five and fifteen years. Caring for your bridge will help extend its lifetime. Proper care includes avoiding foods that are very hard or overly sticky, brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, and visiting your dentist for check-ups as often as recommended.

 

What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

Getting a dental bridge is normally a two-appointment procedure. During your first appointment, your dentist will prepare the teeth that will support your bridge. Your dentist will also create an impression of your mouth. It will take approximately two weeks to make your custom bridgework. In the meantime, you may receive a temporary bridge.

At your second appointment, your dentist will attach your new bridge. Your temporary bridge will be removed, and your permanent bridge will be cemented in place. As with custom clothing, proper fit is key to the success of your dental bridge. Your dentist will adjust the new bridge to make sure it fits correctly. If you notice any issues or discomfort, contact your dentist right away. If you have any questions about your bridge, be sure to ask your dentist, either during an appointment or by contacting the office.

 

Simply Beautiful Smiles has 17 convenient locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you have questions about dental bridges, or if you’re ready to make an appointment, contact us today. Our caring staff is ready to help you take the first step to a simply beautiful smile.

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