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FREQUENTLY  ASKED  QUESTIONS
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Q: What is a bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is usually fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This cosmetic is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures. Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. Bridges require your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but can last as many ten years or more.

Q: Is it possible to have a porcelain bridge affixed to your teeth without having any clasps or metal appearing?
Yes. If you are an appropriate candidate, a porcelain bridge can look as natural as (or in many cases better than) your own teeth, in color and shape, in proportion and alignment, with no clasps or metal appearance. Some bridges are designed with a metal support structure or a metal lining, covered with porcelain (porcelain-fused-to-metal or PFM). At one point in time, most restorations were made this way. When placed, they usually can often look opaque or "flat" because they do not let light pass through like a natural tooth. There can also be a tell-tail dark band showing through the teeth or showing next to the gum-line that is undesirable (often the darkness invades the adjacent gum tissue as an adverse reaction). All-porcelain bridge restorations are what we chose to use unless there is a compelling reason otherwise. Again, when properly seated, they are virtually as strong or stronger than their metal predecessor. And the appearance can be identical to a natural tooth, allowing light to pass through (referred to as translucency).

Q: Who is a candidate for a bridge?
If you have one or more missing teeth and have good oral hygiene practices, you should discuss this procedure with your cosmetic dentist. If spaces are left unfilled, they may cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position. Additionally, spaces from missing teeth can cause your other teeth and your gums to become far more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.


Q: How is a dental bridge placed?
We prepare your teeth on either side of the space for the false tooth. You will be given a mild anesthetic to numb the area, and then remove an area from each abutment (teeth on either side of the space) to accommodate for the thickness of the crown. When these teeth already have fillings, part of the filling may be left in place to help as a foundation for the crown. We will then make an impression, which will serve as the model from which the bridge, false tooth and crowns will be made by our dental laboratory. A temporary bridge will be placed for you to wear while your bridge is being made until your next visit. This temporary bridge will serve to protect your teeth and gums. On your second appointment, the temporary bridge will be removed. Your new permanent bridge will be fitted and checked and adjusted for any bite discrepancies. Your new bridge will then be cemented to your teeth.

Q: Are there different types of bridges?
Yes. There are TWO types of dental bridges:

Traditional Fixed Bridge --
A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. There are two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.

Resin Bonded Bridges --
The resin bonded is primarily used for your front teeth. Less expensive, this bridge is best used when the abutment teeth are healthy and don't have large fillings. The false tooth is fused to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth with a resin, which is hidden from view. This type of bridge reduces the amount of preparation on the adjacent teeth.


 
   
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