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A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
  • The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.

Home Care After Receiving a Crown or Bridge

Usually it takes more than one appointment to give a patient a crown or bridge. At the first appointment, your mouth is anesthetized so our doctor can prepare and file down your teeth that need the restoration. While the permanent, custom crown or bridge is being made, our doctor will place a temporary crown or bridge in order to protect your teeth. After this first appointment, your lips and tongue will be numb because of the anesthetic used. Do not eat or drink a hot beverage until all the numbness has subsided so you do not accidentally bite your lip, tongue or cheek.

If your temporary crown falls off, please call our office immediately. Bring the temporary crown with you to the office, and we will re-place it on your tooth. To ensure the temporary crown stays on, do not eat sticky or hard foods or chew gum.

For a few days, the tooth with the temporary crown may have heat, cold and pressure sensitivity. These sensitivities should typically subside in a short period of time after the permanent crown is placed. To alleviate the pain in the meantime, we recommend taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin as directed on the bottle.

As with any procedure, if your pain or sensitivity persists, or if you have any questions, please call our office.

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