A dental bridge is a restorative dental device for restoring gaps formed by missing teeth between healthy teeth. They consist of multiple false teeth (pontics) held together by dental crowns. The crowns sit on the natural teeth on either side of the gap, acting as supports for the dental bridges. By filling in the missing teeth gap, bridges restore your smile and allow for the proper biting and chewing of food.
The procedure for getting a dental bridge typically takes two or more appointments.
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The first consultation lets the dentist determine whether dental bridges are appropriate for your dental situation. The decision to proceed with the treatment comes after taking X-rays, conducting tests, and assessing your dental and medical history. If you qualify for the procedure, the dentist will inject a local anesthetic into the gums to numb the area.
Your Flagstaff dentist will prepare the enamel by shaving small bits of the teeth on each side of the gap to create room for the supporting crowns. The dentist will then use a digital scanner or a putty-like material to take impressions of your mouth and create a 3D or digital replica of it. The dentist will then create your dental bridge with this mold or 3D render. Fabrication takes a week or two, but the dentist will give you temporary bridges to wear while awaiting the fabrication of your dentures.
Once your dental bridge is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary bridge and palace the actual bridge in the gap. The dentist will then check the fit of the bridge and make any adjustments if necessary. They might ask you to bite down on a piece of cardboard to check your bite alignment.
If everything checks out, the dentist will send you home with instructions on caring for your bridges. These instructions will include details on how to clean your bridge, your diet during recovery, and what medication to take to promote faster recuperation.
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Dental bridges last five to seven years before you need to replace them. However, your dental bridges can last ten years or more if you take good care of them and practice proper oral hygiene. Improper oral hygiene can lead to the premature failure of your dental bridges. Bacteria can build up on your abutment teeth and lead to dental decay. This deterioration of the abutment teeth causes the bridge to fall out.
Whether dental insurance covers bridges depends on your particular insurance policy and the dental practice in question. However, most insurance companies cover 40% to 50% of the cost, meaning you’ll have to pay the rest out-of-pocket. However, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to cover the entire cost, but you must first ensure the dental practice accepts your insurance policy.