What is a “bridge”?
Simply put, a bridge is a dental practice that can restore your beautiful smile by replacing missing teeth. We call it a bridge because your existing healthy teeth are used to anchor a bridge of high-quality replacement teeth. These replacements will fill the empty space where you are missing one or several teeth. The result is a natural, gorgeous smile that displays a full set of teeth. As an added benefit, this bridge will also assist your remaining anchor teeth to remain in their appropriate place. The empty space left by missing teeth can cause the bone structure in your jaw to gradually dissolve and change. This may eventually result in difficulty while eating and speaking.
What is the Process?
First, we must build abutments using your existing, natural teeth to create anchor points for the bridge. Once the abutments have been completed, Dr. Littlefield will create a mold of the entire area where the bridge will be placed. Our lab will then use this unique mold to create a custom-fitted bridge that will exactly fill the space left between your natural teeth. A bridge that has been properly prepared and fabricated should feel as natural as your real teeth. The bridge of replacement teeth will be held in place by crowns that are placed on your real teeth on each end of the bridge.
While your permanent, custom-fabricated bridge is being prepared, Dr. Littlefield will place a temporary bridge in its place. It is important that you wear this temporary bridge in order to protect the abutments that your dentist has built up and the gums that are still exposed. This temporary bridge will also provide you with a natural look and smile while you are waiting. Our front desk team will contact you as soon as the permanent bridge is at the office in order to set an appointment for placement of the permanent bridge.
It will certainly take a few days for you to become accustomed to your new bridge. In the meantime, you will want to eat soft foods. You should rapidly come to the point that the bridge feels like your own, natural teeth. At this point, you will be able to eat regular food again.