Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

Dental Bridges

Adult teeth may be lost as the result of a variety of causes.  These include advanced periodontal disease, trauma, and decay.

If missing teeth are not replaced, your other teeth can drift out of position.  The area also becomes more susceptible to gum disease and decay of the surrounding teeth.

A bridge is a restorative structure used to replace missing teeth.  Bridges consist of one or more false teeth (pontics) which are held in place by fixtures attached to the surrounding teeth.  Bridges fall into two main categories: 'fixed' and removable partial dentures.  Fixed bridges are cemented in place and cannot be taken out.  Removable Partial Dentures are not permanently attached, and are removed at night or for cleaning purposes.

Bridges can dramatically improve the appearance of your teeth by replacing teeth which are missing, or which need to be extracted.  The materials used to create the bridge are made to match the color of your natural teeth while providing comparable structural support.  

Fixed Bridge

Traditional Fixed Bridge
A traditional fixed bridge is composed of a full artificial tooth with crowns attached to either side.  These crowns are cemented over the teeth next to the missing tooth, and hold the artificial tooth in place where your missing tooth had been.  Bridges are custom made to look just like natural teeth do, and to fit with your particular bite.

Resin-Bonded Bridge
In some cases, fixed bridges may be anchored using resin and metal bands instead of crowns.  This may be appropriate when the abutment teeth are healthy, well anchored, and free of fillings.  In this case, metal anchors are affixed to the abutment teeth using a strong resin.  The artificial tooth is then anchored to these bands.

Procedure for Fixed Bridge

The teeth next to the empty space will be reduced so that it can receive the crown portion of the bridge.  Then, an impression will be taken of the whole area (the missing area and the two teeth next to it).

This impression is then sent to a lab, and a bridge custom-designed to fit the area.  Just as with the placement of a crown, a temporary bridge will be put in place to protect your teeth and gums while the restoration is being constructed.

3 Unit Bridge Procedure

Post-Operative Instructions

Make sure that you avoid chewing if anesthesia has been used to numb your lips, gums, and tongue. Injury can result in the hours after the procedure while the anesthetic wears off if you attempt to chew normally.

Normal reactions to these procedures include gum tenderness and sensitivity to hot, cold, and pressure. Sensitivity will increase with the invasiveness of the procedure. These symptoms should go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. In some cases, the sensitivity will last longer than a couple of weeks, but this is not a cause for concern as long as your gums and teeth are progressively feeling better.

We recommend ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. It will help reduce the inflammation in the affected area and help eliminate sensitivity if taken as indicated. However, if the pain and sensitivity continue for more than a couple of weeks or worsens over time, please contact our office to set up a follow-up appointment.

Temporary Crowns or Bridges

It is very important for the temporary Crown or bridge to remain on your tooth until Dr. Yurovsky seats your permanent crown. If the temporary crown becomes loose or comes off at any time, please call the office immediately. Your tooth can shift within a few hours if your temporary crown is missing, which can inhibit and delay the placement of your permanent crown. You may also experience sensitivity if your temporary comes off.

If your temporary comes off or becomes loose, please carefully replace it and call the office. It is not possible to replace it incorrectly because it only fits one way.

Please avoid hard and chewy foods, such as ice, hard candy, gum, and taffy, as these may pull your temporary off of the prepared tooth.

Flossing is an important part of caring for your temporary. Please release one end of the floss and pull it through the side of the tooth instead of pulling it up between your teeth.

If the anesthesia has worn off, and your bite feels uneven, please give the office a call immediately. This imbalance with your bite may cause further discomfort, and should be adjusted.