Dental Bridges

Missing teeth can cause even the most confident people to second guess their smiles — and themselves. Covina Family Dental can provide patients that have missing teeth and noticeable gaps in their mouths with fixed dental bridges in Covina, CA. By sealing gaps in the teeth with dental bridges, the cosmetic dentists of Covina Family Dental also seal a better self-image for their patients.

How Fixed Dental Bridges Work

Dr. Kiran Mistry or Dr. Priti Mistry can use a fixed (non-removable) dental bridge to quite literally bridge a gap caused by missing teeth. The dentists at Covina Family Dental then use the remaining teeth on either side of the gap as the foundation or anchoring support for the dental bridge. Because of this, the neighboring teeth are called anchoring or abutment teeth. (If healthy teeth are not available to serve as abutment teeth, either of the dentists may use dental implants instead.)

Dr. Kiran Mistry or Dr. Priti Mistry will then shave down the necessary abutment teeth and place a dental crown on each, before bonding the pontic, or false tooth (or teeth), in the dental bridge to the crown of the abutment tooth.

Despite its name, a fixed dental bridge is not permanent. But, a bridge cannot be removed until it is time to replace it. Glendora dental bridge patients need to replace their dental bridges every seven to 15 years, depending on the patient’s hygiene practices and individual anatomy.

The dentists at Covina Family Dental offer three types of dental bridges:

Traditional bridges. Drs. Hatae and Patil use traditional dental bridges when the patient has healthy teeth on both sides of the missing tooth or teeth. Dr. Kiran Mistry or Dr. Priti Mistry will insert traditional dental bridges in the manner described above. Traditional bridges are the most common type and are comprised of porcelain fused to either ceramic material or metal.

Cantilever bridges. Drs. Hatae and Patil use cantilever bridges when the patient has healthy teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. Because the bridge support can only be bonded to neighboring teeth on one side of the mouth, the dentists can only use cantilever bridges in areas of the mouth where the patient does not put too much pressure on the abutment teeth. In practice, this means that cantilever bridges are typically only used on front teeth.

Resin-bonded bridges. Also known as Maryland bridges, resin-bonded bridges do not require as much preparation to adjacent abutment teeth as traditional or cantilever bridges do. Resin-bonded bridges are comprised of plastic teeth and gums that are supported by a metal foundation. Dr. Kiran Mistry or Dr. Priti Mistry will bond the metal wings on both sides of the resin-bonded bridge to the back side of existing teeth.

Although resin-bonded bridges are less expensive than traditional bridges, they are not suitable for abutment teeth with fillings. Also, Drs. Hatae and Patil do not use resin-bonded bridges to fill gaps in the back of the mouth, because the jaw places too much pressure on teeth in this area.

What to Expect During Treatment

The dental bridge process generally takes a few office visits. During the first office visit, Dr. Kiran Mistry or Dr. Priti Mistry will prepare abutment teeth, which involves filing down part of the existing tooth enamel. the dentist can then place a crown on each prepared abutment tooth.

Next, the dentists or staff members make impressions of the patient’s teeth. A dental lab uses the impressions as a model from which to make the patient’s dental bridge, pontic and crowns. Covina Family Dental will make a temporary bridge for the patient to wear while the lab is constructing the fixed dental bridge.

During the next office visit, Dr. Kiran Mistry or Dr. Priti Mistry removes the temporary dental bridge and inserts the fixed bridge. The dentist adjusts the fixed bridge as needed, and may temporarily cement the bridge into place until he or she is satisfied with the overall fit. Drs. Hatae and Patil will schedule one or more follow-up visits to ensure a proper fit and bite as time goes on. Once the dentist is satisfied with the fit, he or she will use a more permanent material to cement the fixed dental bridge into place.

Am I Good Candidate for Dental Bridges?

There are three main criteria that a suitable candidate for dental bridges must meet. A suitable candidate has a missing tooth or teeth, strong teeth adjacent to the missing one(s), and proper dental hygiene habits.

Individuals interested in dental bridges can contact Covina Family Dental to find out if they are a suitable candidate for dental bridges or alternative cosmetic dental treatment such as veneers.

At-Home Care for Dental Bridges

Patients with a newly acquired dental bridge should find that eating is now easier than when they had missing teeth. However, patients with new dental bridges should eat soft foods that are cut into little pieces until they get used to the dental bridge.

It is critical for those with dental bridges to make sure that their remaining teeth stay healthy. Because neighboring teeth create the foundation for dental bridges, they need to be strong to ensure proper success of the bridge.

In order to keep remaining teeth strong and healthy, patients should brush and floss regularly and keep up with regular dental exams. They should also eat a well-balanced diet and avoid sugary foods that can eat away at tooth enamel. The staff at Covina Family Dental is more than happy to demonstrate good oral care habits to patients.

To schedule a one-on-one consultation, or to learn more about dental bridges in West Covina, Glendora and Covina, please contact Covina Family Dental by calling (626) 331-0688 or by filling out the “email us” form.