Restore Missing Teeth
Versatile Restorations with Extra Security
If you’re missing one or more adjacent teeth in Forest Lake, a dental bridge from Forest Lake dentist Dr. Jonathan Siverson may be just what you need. Dental bridges are a long-lasting alternative to partial dentures, and are more affordable than dental implants. Call us today at (651) 464-8207 to schedule an appointment.
Understanding The Basics
What Are Dental Bridges Made Of?
Dental bridges are usually made of porcelain and metal. A bridge consists of two crowns that attach to healthy “abutment” teeth, or teeth that are adjacent to your missing tooth. These crowns are attached using a metal framework, which suspends a false tooth (pontic) in the gap that’s been left behind by your missing tooth. This literally “bridges” the gap, which is where the term “dental bridge” comes from.
Porcelain is used because it is similar to enamel in durability, appearance, and hardness. Metal is typically used to support the porcelain because it’s more flexible and easier to work with, though some modern bridges are made entirely of porcelain.
What To Expect
The Dental Bridge Procedure
Dental bridge placement takes two appointments over a period of several weeks. After you’re approved for a dental bridge, you’ll come into our office to have your teeth prepared. Dr. Siverson will clean and numb your mouth, and remove enamel from your abutment teeth to prepare them for dental crowns.
Once your teeth have been prepared, Dr. Siverson will take dental impressions of your teeth using a special putty. These impressions will be sent to a dental lab, where your crown will be built. In the meantime, Dr. Siverson will place two temporary crowns to protect your teeth, and you’ll be sent home.
You will come back in 2-3 weeks when your permanent bridge has been finished and sent to our Forest Lake dental office. Then, it will be checked for the proper fit. If everything looks good, Dr. Siverson will bond the bridge in place permanently with dental cement, completing the procedure.
The Average Lifespan of Bridges
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
Depending on how well you care for your dental bridge, you can expect it to last anywhere from 5-15 years. An average lifespan of about 10 years is typical for most bridges. This lifespan is longer than that of a partial denture, but shorter than that of a dental implant.
Will I Have To Make Any Adjustments?
Eating With Dental Bridges
For the most part, you won’t have to make any adjustments when eating with dental bridges. Your bridge will be firmly anchored in place, and will not move or shift while you eat, which is one of the biggest benefits of a bridge compared to a partial denture.
To prolong the lifespan of your dental bridge, however, you should make sure that you avoid eating excessively sticky and hard foods that could damage it. You’ll also need to make sure you clean your bridge properly every day, to prevent the buildup of food debris, bacteria, and plaque. Dr. Siverson will give you more information about cleaning and maintaining dental bridges during your consultation at Forest Lake Smiles.
Can Dental Bridges Be Repaired or Replaced?
Yes, patients can repair or replace their damaged dental bridges, but only sometimes. The repairability of your dental bridges depends on the type and extent of the damage. Dentists can use dental bonding materials to fix small cracks and chips on the bridge. They can also repair loose bridges using dental cement to hold them in place.
Replacement is necessary when the bridges are severely damaged or the teeth holding the bridges are severely damaged. In this case, the dentist will remove the bridge to treat the abutment teeth before putting it back in place. The dentist may recommend replacing the bridge to fit the post-treatment teeth.
Are Dental Bridges Removable?
Yes, some types of dental bridges are removable, but not all of them. Removed dental bridges are essentially partial dentures that patients can remove at their convenience. However, these removable bridges are typically temporary solutions that patients wear while waiting for permanent bridges.
Permanent bridges, on the other hand, can only be removed at the dental office by a qualified dentist. These bridges last for between 10 and 15 years before they need replacements. However, extensive damage might warrant premature replacement. Removable dentures might require some time to get used to, while permanent ones are comfortable from the get-go.
How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?
Dental bridges cost as little as $500 to as much as $16,000, depending on the type of dental bridge and the number of teeth that require replacement. Patients that need dental bridges for one tooth will pay a lot less than patients who require a dental bridge for an entire row of teeth.
The material used for the dental bridge also determines how much getting dental bridges will cost. Bridges made with expensive materials like zirconia and porcelain cost more than those made from metal alloys. Porcelain and zirconia mimic the neutral appearance of your teeth, meaning you’ll retain a natural smile. Bridges made from metal alloys are more visually intrusive.
When Is an Implant-Supported Bridge Necessary?
Implant-supported bridges are necessary for patients with excessive jaw bone loss that precludes them from getting regular dental implants. They may also be necessary for patients with missing teeth, providing a permanent replacement for the missing teeth to restore your smile and allow for proper chewing and pronunciation of words.
Patients with underbites, overbites, and other bite issues may also need implant-supported brides. These bridges help align the bite for improved appearance and ability to chew food.
What Is the Recovery Process for Dental Bridges?
Most patients take about four to six months to fully recover from getting dental bridges, but recovery can take longer if you don’t take good care of your teeth. Patients typically experience mild pain and bleeding after the surgery that they can address with painkillers, although sometimes the dentist might prescribe antibiotics. The dentist schedules a follow-up visit after six months to check the healing process and provide guidance for caring for your dental bridge.