Dental Bridges Las Vegas
Las Vegas dental bridges are also known as fixed partial dentures and fixed removable dentures. Bridges get their name from the fact that they “bridge” gaps formed by missing teeth. Every situation is unique and there are several types of bridges that can be used to replace missing teeth. When choosing a Las Vegas dental bridge specialist, you will want to consult a dentist who is a proven leader in his field, like Dr. Kevin Khorshid at ABC Dental Care.
When Are Bridges Needed?
Missing teeth are not considered a dental emergency, but rather a cosmetic fix for missing teeth. When a patient loses teeth due to decay, infection or an unforeseen accident, their self-esteem can suffer. Bridges are custom made for each patient to restore their smile and can also help improve overall oral health.
Missing teeth can leave other teeth vulnerable to decay and infection. When a tooth is lost, bone and tissue in the gum and jaw start to shrink, which can alter the shape of the face. Remaining teeth can also start to drift around the mouth, further altering the appearance and affecting how the patient eats and how they sound when they talk.
How Do Bridges Work?
A bridge is made up of several components. First, crowns (also called caps) are placed on the teeth that lie on either side of the gap. These teeth, called abutment teeth, anchor the bridge in place. Then, a false tooth (or teeth) is created out of synthetic material and attached to the abutment teeth, closing the gap.
Sometimes the abutment teeth need to be removed, either to create more room for the bridge or because they are at risk of decay, and in these cases, the dentist will insert dental implants in place of the natural teeth. The crowns are then placed over the implants to create a solid anchor for the new teeth.
Types Of Dental Bridges
There are several types of bridges that can be used to correct missing teeth. Dr. Khorshid evaluates each patient individually to determine the best type of bridge for their situation.
Types of bridges include:
- Traditional Bridges – The most common type of bridge, traditional bridges are made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramic material. They are created using crowns to anchor the artificial tooth or teeth, called pontics.
- Cantilever Bridges – Another common type of bridge that is used when there is only one adjacent tooth to work with.
- Resin Bonded Bridges – Also called Maryland bridges. Plastic teeth and gums are created and supported by a metal frame which is bonded to the existing teeth. These are the most inexpensive type of bridge but are not as strong as traditional bridges.
Dental Bridge Process
Getting a bridge typically requires two trips to the dentist. During the first visit, the mouth is made ready for the bridge. The abutment teeth will be prepared for the crowns that will hold the bridge in place. Once the abutment teeth are ready, impressions of the mouth will be made so that a mold can be created for the bridge. From this mold, the lab will design the crowns for the abutment teeth and the new pontics. Finally, a temporary bridge will be created so that the teeth and gums will be protected until the permanent bridge is ready.
Once the lab has completed the final bridge, the temporary bridge will be removed and the new teeth will be fitted into the mouth. Follow up appointments will be needed to ensure that the dental bridge is fitting properly. If the bridge is a fixed bridge, the dentist will wait a few weeks to ensure that the bridge fits properly before permanently cementing it into place.
Caring For Bridges
Most bridges last an average of seven years, but they can last longer or they may need to be replaced sooner. Patients who take care of their teeth can keep a bridge for 15 years or longer. Patients who neglect their teeth can expect to need a replacement sooner. Brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups will keep surrounding teeth healthy. Patients should avoid eating overly hot, sticky or gooey foods on their bridge to reduce the chances of cracks or breaks.
Patients who experience pain, discomfort, irritation, bleeding or who notice slipping or breaking in their bridge should call ABC Dental Care immediately to schedule an appointment with Dr. Khorshid, the premier Las Vegas dental bridge specialist.