Houston Dental Bridges
A dental bridge, sometimes referred to as a “fixed partial denture”, is used to eliminate the gaps created by missing teeth. A bridge consists of two or more crowns used for anchors (referred to as abutments) with false teeth (referred to as pontics) mounted between, spanning the space and bridging the gap. The benefits of eliminating unwanted gaps in the smile with a bridge include:
- Restoring a healthy and confident smile
- Maintaining proper alignment for the remaining teeth
- Biting and chewing with greater ease and comfort
Most often, bridges are recommended for patients missing one or more teeth. When a tooth is lost the integrity of the bite is lost and the remaining teeth may begin to shift. This can lead to damage, disease, and pain. Supported by natural teeth or by implants a bridge closes the gap, preventing shifting and making the teeth easier to clean.
What is the Process for a Dental Bridge?
- Your first step is to contact Dr. Barras’ dental office in Houston, located near the Galleria area for an initial examination. During your initial examination, Dr. Barras will determine the extent of bridge work required and schedule your first bridge appointment.
- During your first appointment for dental bridges, preparation begins on the crowns used to anchor the bridge (abutments). Like the procedure for dental crowns, the teeth are prepared for crowns, and designs are made for the creation of the crown. An impression of the area is made and used to create the bridge. The porcelain used in the bridge will be matched to the color and hue of your existing teeth. Dr. Barras will provide a temporary bridge during the period while your crowns are being prepared to protect the exposed teeth.
- The crowns are received and a return appointment to bond them is scheduled. During this appointment, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is bonded in its place. Depending on the patient and the extent of dental work required, follow-up appointments may be necessary to ensure proper fit and function.
Dental Bridges: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do dental bridges work?
A: A bridge enables patients to replace missing teeth with permanent, artificial teeth without requiring dentures or partials. Using crowns as anchors, dentures replace gaps in the smile with artificial teeth designed to match your mouth shape and appearance for a confident, protected, and full smile.
Q: How long do dental bridges last?
A: Dental bridges are designed to last many years, up to a lifetime. Most patients can expect their bridges to last for five to fifteen years, or more. Occasionally, due to impact or changes in the body, bridges may become loose over time. To prevent bridges from becoming loose, Dr. Barras recommends avoiding hard, damaging foods. If your bridge has become loose, contact Dr. Barras today for a replacement to avoid any damage to your existing teeth.
Q: Is the dental bridge procedure painless?
A: During your first appointment in the bridge procedure, Dr. Barras will use a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the teeth which will be shaped to accept the crowns. Temporary discomfort is possible as you adapt to new dental bridges.
Q: Are dental bridges assisted by insurance?
A: Patient requirements, insurance companies, and a variety of factors impact insurance company decisions to pay for dental services. Typically, insurance companies will assist a percentage of the dental bridge procedure. Ultimately, insurance assistance is dependent on what plan an employer has signed up with.
Q: How do I care for dental bridges?
A: The base of any proper dental care is to brush and floss daily. Dental bridges should be brushed and flossed like natural teeth to remove plaque and bacteria. Maintain routine cleaning and check-up appointments with Dr. Barras and consume a healthy diet.
Q: Will dental bridges change how I eat or speak?
A: Dental bridges will likely make eating and speaking easier, as missing teeth make chewing and speaking difficult. By filling in the gaps between teeth, bridges complete the smile as nature designed it.
If you have gaps in your smile due to missing teeth, porcelain dental bridges may be the right solution for you. If you’re considering bridges or would like to eliminate gaps in your teeth contact the office of Dr. Barras, DDS serving the greater Houston area (located in the Galleria) for an examination today. Dr. Barras will determine the best method for completing your smile and restoring a bright and healthy appearance to your teeth. Due to the unique nature of dental bridge procedures we cannot make cost estimates over the phone. A full and confident smile can be yours, contact our office today!