03 Mar What Is a Fixed Dental Bridge?
If you’re missing teeth, you’re missing out on more than just your favorite foods. A fixed dental bridge is a durable and affordable option for replacing missing teeth. Dental bridges also look and feel natural, helping you regain your confidence in your smile. Is a fixed dental bridge right for you? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Fixed Dental Bridge?
If you are missing one tooth or multiple teeth in the same spot, a fixed bridge can fill the gap. A dental bridge is fixed in place by covering the teeth on either side of the gap with tooth-shaped crowns.
The crowns support an artificial tooth (or teeth) that fills the empty space. Just like crowns, fixed bridges are permanent, and they blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. Best of all, they restore the missing tooth’s full function so you can eat and smile normally again.
Should You Get a Dental Bridge?
If you have any missing teeth, you need to replace them as soon as possible. Without a replacement, your teeth may start to shift, which can affect the way you bite and even lead to tooth and jaw pain.
You can replace missing teeth with a fixed bridge, dentures, or dental implants. The right option for you will depend on your preferences and your budget.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
Unlike dentures, fixed bridges are permanent, so you don’t have to worry about taking them out. However, they don’t last forever—dental bridges typically last up to ten years with proper care, which is about the same as dentures.
Dental implants have a longer lifespan, but they’re much more expensive than dental bridges and involve an invasive surgery, while getting a dental bridge is a relatively simple procedure.
What Happens During a Dental Bridge Procedure?
Getting a dental bridge typically requires two appointments. At the first appointment, your mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic so that you don’t feel any pain. Then the supporting teeth are shaped to hold a crown.
Next, your dentist will take an impression of the prepared teeth and send it to the lab to create a custom bridge that will fit your mouth perfectly. A temporary bridge will be placed to protect your teeth until the permanent one is ready.
At the second appointment, your dentist will numb the area again and remove the temporary bridge. Then they will clean your teeth and place the permanent bridge (two crowns attached to the artificial tooth or teeth). Finally, your dentist will check how the bridge fits and make any necessary adjustments.
How to Clean a Dental Bridge
Without proper care, bacteria can build up under a dental bridge and put your teeth and gums at risk of infections. Tooth decay and gum disease can lead to further tooth loss, so it’s essential to keep your dental bridge clean. A clean bridge also lasts longer, so if you take good care of it you will get the most out of it.
You can take care of a bridge just like the rest of your teeth. Thoroughly brush and floss your teeth twice a day. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid damaging your bridge.
It’s crucial to floss underneath the dental bridge every day, to remove plaque and food debris, as trapped food or bacteria can decrease the life of the bridge. If you have arthritis or mobility issues, speak with your dentist about using a water flosser instead of string floss.
How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?
Budget is a major factor when it comes to choosing the best replacement for missing teeth. Dental bridges can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,200 per tooth, which is much more affordable than dental implants. A single dental implant costs around $4,800.
Fixed Bridges for Seniors in Sun Lakes
If you’re looking for an affordable solution for replacing a missing tooth, contact Saba and Romanin Dental Associates. We help seniors in the Sun Lakes community restore their confidence and their smiles with natural-looking fixed bridges.
Call us at 480-895-2111 to schedule an appointment and consult our doctors about whether a bridge is right for you.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/3/2023). Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels