Bridge the gap: what the heck is a bridge?

If you remember last week, we discussed what your options were now that you have a missing tooth.   This week we will talk a little more about what a bridge is!

Like we talked about before, a bridge fills the space where one or more teeth are missing.  It brings your bite back into working order and helps maintain not only the shape of your face, but your smile as well.  When you have missing teeth, the bone tends to start shrinking where the missing tooth was located.  This will still happen with a bridge, but the bridge will help the teeth around the gap to stay in place and not drift around, which is how the shape of your face will be maintained.

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The steps to getting a bridge are very similar to getting a crown.  The whole procedure is done in two visits.  Your first visit, you’ll come in and your West Seattle Dentist, Dr. Christine Kirchner, will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap for crowns.  Why get these teeth ready for crowns?  These two teeth will hold either side of the bridge, and the missing tooth or teeth (called a pontic or pontics) will be attached in between them.  Pretty cool huh?  One of Dr. Kirchner’s lovely assistants will make you a temporary bridge, and temporarily cement it onto your teeth.  You’ll have a nice acrylic tooth filling the gap while you wait for the permanent one to be fabricated at the lab.

About three weeks later, it will be time to cement your permanent one in place (squeeel!  I’m so excited for you! Are you excited too??).  Because of all the very careful preparing and measuring Dr. Kirchner and her lovely assistant did at the first appointment, your permanent bridge will fit like a glove!  It’s made from porcelain so it will match the look and color of the rest of your teeth (unless you got gold, then it will look all shiny and awesome) and look AMAZING!  Dr. Kirchner will cement it in place and Voila!  You have your missing tooth back!

Now that you have this awesome looking bridge in your mouth, its time to make sure you are taking good care of it so that it will last a long time.  Make sure you are flossing around it where you can.  One of the most important things to do is to floss under it.  This will be the only way you will be able to get the area clean directly under the bridge, but also the sides of the teeth that the bridge is connected to.  Of course brushing and seeing Dr. Kirchner regularly are important too!

Ready to get your bridge done!  Excellent!  Give the office a call today and we’ll get an appointment all set up for you!