When you lose a tooth, you'll want to take advantage of restorative treatments to replace it. Left untreated, a missing tooth can cause your surrounding teeth to become misaligned. It can lead to bone erosion and even overgrowth of the teeth opposite your missing tooth. Fortunately, dental bridge treatment is a painless way to restore any teeth you've had extracted. Here are the five steps your dentist will perform when giving you a new dental bridge:
1. Perform a consultation.
A consultation is the first step in many dental treatments. Your dentist will perform a preliminary exam to ensure your teeth are healthy. They will likely take x-rays to check for cavities. As part of your dental bridge treatment, the two teeth on either side of your missing tooth will have crowns fitted. It's important that any underlying decay is taken care of before these crowns are put in place.
2. Take a mold of your teeth.
Your dentist will take a mold of your teeth. This will help lab technicians create a dental bridge in the correct size and shape. Your artificial tooth will need to match the overall color and shape of the surrounding teeth. It will also need to fit in the gap between your teeth. Your dentist may also take photographs for additional information that can be used for color-matching purposes.
3. Prepare your dental bridge.
Your dental bridge will be created by a specialist. Dental bridges are made of porcelain, metal, or a mixture of the two. When your dental bridge is metal alloy based, it will have a layer of tooth-colored porcelain on top. It may take a week or longer for your dental bridge to be finished. Once it's done, you'll return to your dentist for your final dental bridge service appointment.
4. Shape your teeth.
Your dentist will need to file down the teeth that will be used to anchor the dental bridge. This is performed any time a crown is placed on a tooth, since your dentist needs to make room for the crown. They will carefully remove enamel to allow the two crowns of the dental bridge to fit in place.
5. Attach your dental bridge.
When your dentist is satisfied with the shaping they've done on your anchor teeth, they will attach your dental bridge using a strong bonding adhesive. Dental bridges are a permanent solution to missing teeth. Once your dental bridge is in place, you won't have to worry about it coming free. You'll be able to chew, speak, and smile as normal.