Dental bridges are one of the many cosmetic dentistry options to treat a patient who has some missing teeth. Typically, there will be a support tooth on each side of the space in the mouth. These support teeth will be used as ‘abutments’ to hold the prosthetic tooth known as a ‘pontic’ in place. The abutment (support) teeth will be reduced in size so that a crown with the connected pontic (prosthetic tooth) will fit securely.
Impressions are taken and sent to the lab. The patient is sent home with a temporary bridge to prevent the teeth from moving while the patient waits for the permanent bridge to be completed by the lab. Once finished, the patient returns for the delivery of the bridge. The occlusion is checked to ensure that the patient isn’t biting too hard on the prosthetic, which can lead to great discomfort when attempting to eat.
A bitewing x-ray is usually taken to check if the bridge is fitting properly on the prepared teeth. Once everything is approved by the dentist, the bridge is then permanently cemented in place using special dental grade glue safe for oral use. When the cement has dried, any excess is removed and the occlusal bite is rechecked.
Hygienic care for a bridge
Keeping up with professional cleanings is always important, but when a patient has a permanent bridge, there are additional special steps that should be taken at home to optimize oral hygiene. Failure to do so may result in foul odor and further dental cavities.
Flossing becomes even more important than ever. Food debris has a strong tendency to get trapped under the pontic of a bridge – even with the best fitting bridges. This can lead to red, swollen gums and halitosis. A bridge threader can be used to help keep the area clean. Using floss, thread it through a floss threader, and poke the end under the pontic, through the other side. Slide the floss back and forth in a gentle scrubbing fashion to loosen food particles. Use a mouthwash to rinse away the particles, or even better, use a water floss to wash away the food particles loosened by the floss.
Contact Manhattan Dental Design today so we can give you and your bridge the cleaning you need to keep that smile healthy!