Replace Missing Teeth With Our Seattle Dentists
Are you ready to smile confidently again? With dental bridges, our dentists in Seattle can replace your missing teeth and restore function to your smile. Don’t wait any longer! Contact our dental office today by calling (206) 682-3888 to schedule your consultation.
Our Seattle dentist explains the dental bridge procedure to ensure you know what to expect.
How the Dental Bridge Procedure Works
Dental bridges are an effective solution for people who have missing teeth. They’re used to bridge the gap between teeth by anchoring a false tooth (pontic) to the surrounding natural teeth (abutments). The dental bridge process involves several steps, including consultation and evaluation, preparing the abutment teeth and placing a temporary bridge, fitting and placement, and a follow-up appointment.
Components of a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge consists of the following components:
- Pontic: This is the term for the artificial teeth, or tooth, that replaces the missing natural teeth. Pontics can be made from various materials including porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of these materials.
- Abutment Teeth: These are the natural teeth or dental implants on either side of the gap. They serve as support for the bridge. If natural teeth are used, they’re often reduced in size to accommodate the bridge.
- Retainers or Dental Crowns: These are fixed onto the abutment teeth and hold the pontic in place. They can be made of similar materials as the pontics. Depending on the design of the bridge, these can be full crowns that cover the entire abutment tooth or partial coverage like inlays or onlays.
- Connectors: These are the parts that connect the pontic to the retainers or crowns. They can be rigid (as in conventional bridges) or non-rigid (as in some types of removable bridges).
- Framework: In some bridges, there’s a metal or porcelain framework that provides additional strength and support.
The Dental Bridge Process
Consultation and Evaluation
The first step in the dental bridge process is a consultation with our Seattle dentist. During this appointment, Dr. Johnson will evaluate your oral health, including your teeth and gums, and discuss your options for replacing missing teeth. He may also take digital X-rays and impressions of your existing teeth, to create a model of your mouth, ensuring your custom bridge is a perfect fit.
At this appointment, he’ll also recommend the best dental bridge type. He may recommend a traditional dental bridge, implant-supported bridges, or another option.
Preparing Abutment Teeth and Placing a Temporary Bridge
Once our dentist has determined that a dental bridge is the right option for you, they’ll prepare the abutment teeth. This involves removing a small amount of enamel from the teeth that will support the bridge. Dr. Johnson will then take another impression of your teeth to create a mold of your mouth which will be used to create your permanent bridge.
While your permanent bridge is being made, we’ll place a temporary dental bridge to protect your abutment teeth and help you eat and speak normally while waiting for your permanent restoration to be created.
Fitting and Placement
Once your permanent bridge is ready, you’ll return to our Seattle, WA, dental office for the fitting and placement appointment. During this appointment, Dr. Johnson will remove the temporary bridge and fit the permanent bridge to your abutment teeth. He’ll then make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit. With dental cement, it will be set into place.
After your bridge has been placed, we’ll schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure that everything is healing properly. During this appointment, Dr. Johnson will check the fit of your bridge and make any necessary adjustments. He’ll also provide you with instructions on how to care for your new bridge to ensure its longevity.
After your dental bridge procedure, caring for your bridge is essential. There are certain practices that you’ll need to follow, including:
- Oral Hygiene Habits: Keeping the remaining teeth healthy and strong is crucial for the longevity of the dental bridge. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are essential.
- Dietary Adjustments: Initially, you’ll want to stick with eating soft foods and avoid anything that could put undue pressure on the new bridge.
- Regular Check-ups: Regular visits to the dentist can ensure the bridge remains intact and the adjacent teeth remain healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
While dental bridges are generally safe and well-tolerated, some potential risks and complications may include sensitivity, discomfort, or gum irritation after the procedure. In rare cases, there may be an allergic reaction to the materials used in the bridge. Patients must follow their dentist’s aftercare instructions to minimize any potential issues.
Most patients experience minimal discomfort during the dental bridge procedure. The dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the teeth being treated, ensuring the patient is comfortable throughout the process. After the procedure, there may be slight soreness or sensitivity, which usually subsides within a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medications can help manage any post-procedure discomfort.
Replace Your Missing Teeth With a Dental Bridge at Aesthetic Dental Associates
Ready to have a complete smile? Schedule your appointment with our Seattle dentist today by contacting our dental office at (206) 682-3888. Dr. Johnson will evaluate your case and discuss dental bridges with you.