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A dental bridge is just what the name implies — it is an appliance that bridges the gap between one or more missing teeth.  Bridges can restore your smile, help you to chew more effectively and maintain a healthy mouth.  Bridges keep your other teeth in line and prevent them from drifting into the gap created by the space where your missing tooth used to be.  When teeth drift into open spaces, they can impact the entire mouth, affecting your bite and placing more stress on your remaining teeth, gums and jaw.

Inserting bridges is a safe and a common dental procedure that has been a mainstay of dentistry for many years.  Replacing teeth with a bridge will take more than one visit.  On the first visit, the dentist will prep your surrounding teeth, getting them ready to have the bridge attached after an imprint has been taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be made.  In the interim, the dentist will attach a temporary bridge to protect your prepared teeth until the new one is ready.  When the permanent bridge arrives, the dentist will cement it into place.

There are several different kinds of bridges.  A traditional bridge is made of porcelain fused to metal or made of ceramics.  It is created for a space that has support on either side of the missing tooth.  A cantilever bridge is used when there is adjacent support on only one side of the missing tooth.  It is less common and not recommended for missing teeth in the back of a patient’s mouth.

Typically, bridges can last up to 15 years, assuming that a patient practices good dental hygiene.  That care includes brushing your teeth twice a day and using an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent your teeth from decaying or developing gum disease.

Douglas Family Dentistryserves families in Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Glendale and surrounding Arizona communities.