When there’s a large gap between teeth, often caused by the loss of a tooth, a dental bridge can be used to fill that gap. Two or more crowns are placed on the teeth that sit on either side of the gap. Those crowns allow for replacement teeth to be placed within the gap, filling the area and giving you a beautiful smile! The replacement teeth can be made from a variety of materials, varying in cost and performance, such as gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination depending on your preference and your dentist’s recommendation.
During the initial visit, the teeth which will hold the crowns for the bridge to be attached to will be prepared in order to hold those crowns. Some of the tooth enamel might need to be removed in order for the crown to fit perfectly. Following that, a mold of the teeth is made, so that the lab can use it to create the crowns, bridge, and implants to perfectly fit your mouth. You will also be given a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums.
A second visit is usually required in which the actual bridge is placed and tweaked until it rests perfectly in your mouth. Although these are the only two visits required for the bridge application, additional visits to the dentist will be required to ensure that the bridge is still connected properly and is attached correctly. When it seems as though the bridge is in place correctly, the dentist will cement it in, and you’ll no longer have a gap.
If you’re someone who is embarrassed by a gap in your smile or if you have difficulty eating and chewing due to a gap between your teeth, then a dental bridge might provide some relief. Because some speech impediments can occur with gaps, filling gaps in could help your speech pattern, too. Because teeth are dependent on each other, primarily for holding their shape and place in your jaw, if teeth are missing, this allows teeth to migrate easily through use and nighttime grinding. A bridge ensures that those teeth remain in place. This might also ensure that your jaw does not take an odd form, potentially changing the shape of your face.
Although price varies from tooth to tooth and what sort of replacement tooth you intend to have put in, bridges can usually be covered by dental insurance to some degree. That being said, some prices range from $500 to $1,200 per tooth. So, if multiple teeth are required to fill the space, then the price will very likely increase. Of course, this is entirely dependent on the individual and their needs, as well as the dental practice in question.
As long as you’re taking good care of your teeth, dental bridges can easily last up to ten years if not longer. The estimated lifespan of a bridge is five to fifteen years. Visiting your dentist to make sure that the bridge is connected and there aren’t any cracks or loosening of the bridge will also ensure the longevity of the product. In addition, your dentist can show you the proper brushing and flossing techniques to be used with your bridge.
For more information about dental bridges, or to schedule an appointment, please contact the office of Dr. Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S., located in San Marcos, TX.