Dental Bridge Timeline
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is self-explanatory- it bridges a gap in your mouth, from having one or more missing teeth. The way it works is that the adjacent teeth, that are next to the gap in the mouth, are prepared (i.e tooth structure is removed). These act as pillars for the bridge to sit on. The bridge contains a pontic (i.e a false tooth) – this is what is used to replace the missing tooth. As well as, containing abutment teeth (two or more crowns that are added to either side of the pontic). The Bridge is attached to the prepared teeth. Bridges are usually made of porcelain and they look natural, so they are great replacements for missing or damaged teeth.
If you are unsure of how dental bridges work and wonder how long they last, read the different stages below.
Before having a dental bridge, a dentist will check to make sure that the adjacent teeth are strong and healthy. They will also take X-rays and assess the teeth to see whether it is an appropriate treatment for you. As well as this, you will talk with your dentist to decide which type of dental bridge (‘traditional’ or ‘sticky’) is the best for you,
In your first appointment, your dentist will prepare the surrounding teeth, ready for the bridge. To make sure the bridge is placed firmly, a minimal amount of the tooth is removed. In order to shape the teeth exactly with precision and detail, this stage may often take 1 hour. Also in this appointment, a dentist will take impressions of your teeth (which is sent to the laboratory to make your bridge). You will be given a temporary bridge to wear in-between appointments, whilst you wait for the permanent bridge to be created.
Generally, two or three weeks later, the dental bridge will be ready so this will be your second appointment. The dentist will remove the temporary and replace it with the permanent bridge. This stage will often take an hour to an hour and a half.
Stage 3 is all about maintaining the dental bridge. It is important that you care for the dental bridge like you would with natural teeth. The best way to do this is by flossing around the adjacent teeth and underneath where the missing tooth was (where the pontic now is). However, make sure you are taking care when flossing as this will be harder to do with the bridge. As well as this, until the dental bridge feels comfortable, you should eat more soft foods and avoid anything that it’s extremely hot or cold.
How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last?
Typically a dental bridge will last longer than 10 years if it is maintained well and tooth decay and other issues are avoided. It is important that you follow all the care instructions that your dentist gives you. As well as using any tools that will help with caring for the bridge.