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Bridges Q & A

What is a bridge?

A bridge is an alternative to a partial denture, replacing one or more teeth that have been lost to decay or trauma. It uses a metal framework that literally bridges the gap left by the missing teeth. Prosthetic teeth are attached to the framework and tinted to match your neighboring teeth so they look completely natural. The framework is supported by the teeth on either side of the gap. Most bridges are fixed with cement, but some bridges are removable.

What is involved in getting a bridge?

Bridges usually take two to three visits to complete. During the first visit, the teeth on both sides of the gap will be prepared for crowns, hard jackets that help provide additional strength to support the bridge. Once the teeth have been shaped, a mold or impression is made of the teeth and the gap and then sent to a lab where the crowns and bridge will be fabricated. The impression ensures the bridge will fit comfortably and look natural. A temporary bridge will be created and put in place at the end of your first visit. During the second visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent bridge will then be carefully fitted and cemented in place. Finally, the prosthetic teeth and crowns will be buffed for a perfect fit.

Are bridges difficult to take care of?

Bridges require regular brushing and flossing just like your natural teeth, with special attention to the gums surrounding them to prevent a buildup of plaque, tartar or bacteria. Regular visits to the dentist twice a year will help ensure the bridge stays in good shape.

How long will it be before my bridge feels “normal”?

Although a bridge may feel a little odd at first, most patients adapt within a few days of receiving their bridge.

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