Dental Bridges – Portland, OR
Filling in the Gap in Your Smile
The loss of a single tooth may not seem like that big of a deal, especially if the tooth was located towards the back of your mouth. The truth is, however, that when even just one tooth is lost, your oral health is put at risk. At Advanced Dental Arts NW, we offer several options for missing tooth replacement. One of these options is a bridge.
Why Choose Advanced Dental Arts NW for Dental Bridges?
- High-Quality Materials for Lifelike Results
- Over 30 Years of Dentistry Experience
- Helpful, Friendly Team
Consequences of a Missing Tooth
Even one missing tooth can have a serious impact on the health of your mouth and the quality of your life. One of the most obvious consequences of tooth loss, depending upon the tooth’s location, is that your smile is affected. Food can also get stuck in the space and can be difficult to clean out. You may find it more difficult to bite and chew. This can greatly increase your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. You may develop a lisp when speaking. As time goes on, your jaw can change shape, and your adjacent teeth can shift from their natural positions into space. In doing so, your bite is thrown off, causing issues such as uneven tooth wear and jaw pain.
Bridging the Gap
A bridge is a dental restoration that is designed to literally bridge the gap left behind by a missing tooth (or up to three in a row). These restorations are typically made from ceramic, which blends in perfectly with the rest of your smile. A bridge consists of a replacement tooth (or teeth) set between two crowns. The crowns are fitted over the adjacent teeth (abutment teeth), holding the bridge firmly in place.
Dental Bridge Procedure
The procedure for placing a bridge is similar to the procedure for placing crowns. We start with a local anesthetic. Once it takes effect, we then prepare the abutment teeth by trimming, or removing, some of the enamel. This process is done so that your restoration will fit perfectly in with the rest of your teeth. Next, an impression is taken and sent to our lab. There, your custom bridge is designed and created.
It can take upwards of two weeks for your bridge to be completed. While you wait, we will provide you with a temporary bridge that will protect the abutment teeth and restore some of the function of your missing teeth. When your bridge is ready, you will return for your second visit. It is checked for fit and then cemented into place.
Do Bridges Require Special Care?
Bridges do not require any special care after placement. They can be cared for just like your natural teeth. You should brush your teeth, including the bridge, as normal. Brush at least twice a day and floss once. You should also maintain your regular dental visits. During these appointments, we will check your bridge along with the rest of your teeth, looking for any signs of damage. Avoid biting and chewing on anything hard, and don’t use your teeth to tear open packaging.
Benefits of a Bridge
A bridge offers several benefits:
- It restores your smile’s appearance.
- You can eat and speak normally once again.
- When you can chew your food properly, your digestion (and your nutrition) improve.
- Your adjacent teeth stay in their proper positions.
- Your oral health is improved.
Even if you think your one missing tooth isn’t a big deal, you should have it replaced. Call Advanced Dental Arts NW to schedule your appointment today.
Dental Bridges Frequently Asked Questions
To get more information about dental bridges in Portland, we’ve included a list of popular questions below. After you’ve gone over our responses, be sure to give our team a call if you have more—we’re always happy to talk to you!
How long will my bridge last?
The typical lifespan of a bridge is between five to 15 years. The quality of the material it’s made of can influence its longevity (we only use premium ceramic), but the biggest factors that can contribute to premature breakage are habits like tobacco use, nail-biting, teeth grinding, eating ice, etc. These can cause the prosthetic to wear down quickly or lead to infections in the gums and teeth supporting it. Thankfully, with the right care and maintenance, bridges have the potential to last for several decades.
Are there any diet restrictions with a dental bridge?
Generally, you can eat whatever you want with a bridge, but it’s wise to exercise caution when chewing particularly sticky or hard foods, as an errant bite could lead to the prosthetic dislodging or cracking. It’s also important that a patient avoid eating too many sugar-rich foods, as this can increase the risk of cavities and gum disease around the new teeth, which could affect their stability. To keep the area as clean as possible, we recommend that patients rinse their mouth with water after eating in addition to practicing daily oral hygiene.
Is a dental bridge the same as a partial denture?
While bridges and partial dentures are both designed to replace a small number of teeth, they are not interchangeable. Bridges are meant to restore one to four consecutive teeth, and a partial fills in gaps left by non-adjacent teeth. And, bridges are fixed in place and cannot be removed by the patient, while a partial is removable. When you come to see your dentist in Portland for your consultation, he’ll let you know which one would be best for your situation.
Are dental bridges covered by insurance?
In most cases, yes. The majority of dental insurance plans offer coverage for bridges, but the specific amount is different from policy to policy. On average, a plan tends to pay for about 40-50% of the treatment. It’s also important to keep in mind that a patient will need to meet their deductible and not go over their yearly maximum when estimating their out-of-pocket cost. We can go over your benefits with you so you know what to expect, plus we can offer other payment options to ensure that your bridge is affordable.