If you are missing one or more teeth and there is at least one serviceable tooth on both sides of the space where the tooth/teeth is/are missing, one acceptable option for replacement, used fr many years in dentistry, is the fixed bridge.
A fixed bridge is an appliance made of porcelain design to replace missing teeth in the most natural way possible. This procedure usually takes from two to three appointments to complete and is very similar to having a crown placed on a tooth.
The first visit begins by giving you a local anesthetic. Depending upon the type of local anesthetic used, you can expect to be numb for one to four hours. If your anesthesia should last longer, do not be concerned. Not everyone reacts to medication in the same manner. Once you are numb, your doctor will prepare your teeth in a very specific way in order to maximize the retention and aesthetics of your new bridge. After the teeth are fully prepared, we proceed with the impression stage. At times, we use a thin piece of retraction cord that is placed around your teeth in order to get the impression material under the gums. Should you experience any discomfort you can take a mild analgesic (Tylenol™, Advil™, Anacin™, etc.) as long as there is no medical contraindication based upon your medical history. Typically, you can take anything you would normally take for a headache. If the discomfort persists, please call us. Once the impression stage is completed, we will place a temporary (transitional ) bridge on your teeth. These plastic (acrylic) restorations are placed on teeth to protect them and the gum tissues between dental visits. The temporary cementing medium used is designed to allow the easy removal of the temporary at your next scheduled visit.
More about your temporary bridge
Taking care of your temporary bridge is very important. The health of your gums and the success of your final treatment depends on your home care. PLEASE do not be afraid to clean your teeth between visits. With minimal home care, you should be able to maintain your gum tissue health while your new bridge is being fabricated.
At times, even with the best care give, temporary bridges may become loose between visits. If this does occur, please put the bridge back on your teeth immediately. Vaseline in the temporary bridge can often increase the retention and hold the bridge in place until you can schedule an appointment. If the bridge will not go back into the place we will be happy to re-cement it as soon as we can.
At that time, the temporary bridge is removed and any temporary cement is cleaned from the prepared teeth. Dr. Smith or Dr. Roy will fit the final bridge, check for accuracy, adjust for any bite discrepancies and evaluate the aesthetics. If all of these factors are acceptable, the bridge is cemented to your teeth. It is not unusual for the new bridge to be mildly sensitive to cold temperatures for a few weeks. However, if the sensitivity is severe, does not subside, or if the bite feels uncomfortable, contact us. Further adjustments to the bridge may be necessary.
If the fixed bridge is well constructed, then it should appear entirely natural, and restore function to the area.