“I Lost a Tooth… Now What?”
When you lose teeth, it can feel like people only see gaps when you smile or that you can’t eat as well. For many people with missing teeth, this can make them avoid smiling altogether and prevent them from enjoying their favorite foods. If you feel like you try to avoid smiling because you have missing teeth, it’s important to keep in mind that you have options for restoration– and that your dentist can help.
Along with affecting the appearance of your smile, a missing tooth (or multiple missing teeth) can cause movement of neighboring teeth in the mouth, disturbing your bite’s delicate equilibrium. Along with this, it can make it more difficult to effectively clean your mouth and gums if you have gaps or shifted teeth. If you’re suffering from missing teeth, a dental bridge is a fairly quick and excellent option for restoring your smile and your confidence by using the latest technologies and techniques.
A bridge fills the space in your mouth where teeth are missing, essentially “bridging” the gap and restoring health and function to your smile without the need for surgery. Using the teeth on either side of your missing tooth, a bridge holds the replacement tooth in place to prevent further shifting and to maintain the completeness of your smile. Bridges can be completed in as little as 2-3 weeks, making them low-hassle and easy to manage. Dr. Inna Chern offers dental bridges in New York City and other restorative options for your smile.
Types of Dental Bridges
Traditional Dental Bridges
When you have natural teeth on both sides of the missing tooth, then a traditional bridge is your best option. Traditional dental bridges are the most common type of bridge used for restoration. They usually consist of one or more pontics (spacer teeth) and are held in place using dental crowns. These crowns are called abutments and are cemented onto the natural teeth around the gap to hold the bridge in position.
These dental bridges are similar to traditional bridges; however, the pontic is solely supported on one side by an abutment rather than on both sides. This option is ideal for people who only have one natural tooth next to the gap.
Maryland dental bridges are an alternative option to traditional bridges that do not use crowns. Instead, the bridge is made of a pontic that is held in position by either a porcelain or metal framework. The framework is bonded to the backs of the adjoining teeth next to the gap.
These are the most advanced methods of replacing missing teeth. Implant-supported bridges are a good option when you have one or more missing teeth. These dental devices are supported by implants rather than crowns or frameworks. Since these bridges are secured by dental implants, they feel comfortable and are much like a natural tooth. Two procedures are required for dental bridges supported by implants. The first step is performed by an oral surgeon to place the implants. After a recovery period of 3-6 months, the second procedure is performed where the bridge is placed. Though this may seem like a lengthy process, the results are permanent and natural-looking.
Do I Need a Dental Bridge?
If you have a missing tooth or several missing teeth in a row, a dental bridge may be the best option for you. In addition to serving as a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of your teeth, dental bridges are beneficial for the health of your surrounding teeth. The bridge prevents your natural teeth from shifting or facing damage due to improper bite. However, if the surrounding teeth are damaged, infected, or decayed, they may not adequately support the bridge and another procedure, such as a root canal or dentures, may be better suited to you. Dr. Inna Chern is an expert in dental bridges and will be able to determine if this is the best procedure for you. To find out whether you’re suited to dental bridges, call Dr. Chern in NYC.
“I have been Dr. Chern’s patient for several years now and I have no intention of ever finding another dentist. When you find an amazing dentist, you stick with them. She’s honest, professional, and knows what she’s doing. Her staff is just as amazing.”– David K.
The Dental Bridge Treatment Process and What to Expect
Your First Appointment (60-90 minutes)
Pictures and models will be taken to assess the area. These help determine the right tooth shape and color selection, as well as help collaboration with the dental lab. The dental lab will make your dental bridge custom, so that it best matches the color and shape of your surrounding natural teeth and have the best cosmetic result.
You’ll discuss your cosmetic desires and material options for the bridge with Dr. Chern. Detnal bridges can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of materials.
The neighboring teeth will be prepared under local anesthesia to act as the “anchors” for your dental bridge, so that it can be fixed in place permanently. You won’t feel any discomfort or pain during this step.
A temporary bridge will be placed to protect your teeth and gums while the lab fabricates the permanent bridge framework.
Your Second Appointment (30-45 minutes)
The temporary bridge will be removed and the bridge framework will be tried on to check its function and aesthetics. The specific considerations at this step will vary according to the materials you have chosen for your bridge. For example, if you’ve chosen porcelain, color matching can be evaluated at this step.
A new “pick-up” impression will be taken and the framework will be sent back to the lab for ceramic application.
Your temporary bridge will be replaced and any necessary pictures will be taken.
Your Final Appointment (30-45 minutes)
The final restoration will be placed in your mouth and checked for function and aesthetics.
The finished bridge will be bonded into place to complete your restoration.
Dr. Chern will provide you with a list of instructions for your new dental bridge.
Your Follow-Up Appointment (15 minutes)
We will schedule a follow-up 1-2 weeks after the placement of your new bridge to check how your teeth are feeling and functioning. We may also recommend a bite splint or nightguard to protect your new prosthetic from excessive force.
Caring For Your Bridge
Taking good care of your dental bridge will guarantee a long-lasting restoration. Follow these care tips to ensure that you maintain your new smile, ensure the health of your teeth, and get the most out of your investment:
- Eat a healthy diet (enjoy sweets and soft drinks in moderate amounts).
- See your dentist regularly (every 4-6 months for a hygiene appointment).
- Brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes with a soft or electric toothbrush.
- Floss every day or use a water flosser (Waterpik).
- Always clean between the teeth and around the dental bridge.
Dental Bridge FAQ’s
Are dental bridges permanent?
Dental bridges when taken care of properly can last 10 to 20 years.
Can a tooth get infected under a bridge?
A tooth can get infected at any point due to bacteria and decay.
Can a dental bridge be done in one day?
A dental bridge usually requires 2-4 appointments depending on the complexity of the case.
Can you eat with a temporary bridge?
You can eat normally with a dental temporary but harder foods should be avoided until the permanent bridge is in place.
Can you fix a dental bridge?
A dental bridge can be repaired by an lab or a dentist.
Can a dentist fix a loose bridge?
A loose bridge can be removed and re-cemented to tighten it. If it is ill-fitting then it may have to be redone.
Can a tooth bridge be removed and put back on?
If the bridge is loose or temporarily cemented then it can be removed. Otherwise it must be drilled off to be removed.
Can you get decay under a bridge?
You can get decay under a bridge or any dental work.
Do dental bridges break easily?
Dental bridges are made of durable materials and rarely break.
Do dental bridges look natural?
Dental bridges are made to look natural and blend well with remaining teeth.
Can you have a 3 tooth bridge?
Bridges can be made in varying numbers to replace multiple teeth including a 3-unit bridge.
Can you smoke after getting a bridge?
You can smoke after most dental work including a dental bridge.
When can you eat after getting a bridge?
You can eat as soon as the anesthesia wears off.
What is better a partial or a bridge?
A bridge is always better because it does not come out of the mouth. A partial is an appliance that is removed daily and can move during function.
What can I expect after dental bridge?
You can expect to resume normal function with in a day or so after bridge treatment.
Should there be a gap between Bridge and gum?
There should be a small gap where there is a Pontic (fake ) tooth so hygiene can be maintained under the bridge.
What is a permanent bridge?
A permanent bridge is one that is cemented into the mouth and does not come out daily.
What happens if your bridge falls out?
A bridge can be re-cemented but if there is a poor fit, it may need to be redone.
What do I do if my dental bridge is loose?
If a bridge is loose, it is important to see your dentist so it doesn't get swallowed.
What causes dental bridges to fall out?
Dental bridges fall out because there is decay under them or when the cement washes out from under the bridge.
Is a bridge better than an implant?
An implant is a better option because it fully replaces the missing tooth and does not require drilling of neighboring teeth for anchorage.
How do you floss a dental bridge?
There are special flossers called Floss threaders and Waterflossers to help clean under a bridge.
How long after tooth extraction can a bridge be fitted?
After an extraction, the tissue has to heal for 2-4 weeks. A bridge can be fitted after that time frame.
How does a dental bridge feel?
A dental bridge feels similar or better than your actual teeth.
How does a dentist remove a fixed bridge?
A dentist removes a permanent bridge by sectioning it and removing it in pieces so as not to damage underlying tooth structure.
How do you prepare for a dental bridge?
There are no special preparations prior to a bridge appointment.
How do you know if your dental bridge is loose?
You know your bridge is loose if there is shaking of the teeth during function or pain while eating.
Do I need a bridge after tooth extraction?
You have an option to get an implant or a dental bridge after an extraction.
Do teeth bridges fall out?
Occasionally bridges fall out due to decay or washing out of dental cements.
How do you clean under a dental bridge?
You can brush and use special Floss threaders/ water flossers to Clean in and around the bridge.
Does food get stuck under dental bridge?
Food can get lodged anywhere in the mouth including around a dental bridge.
Do you need a bone graft for a bridge?
Occasionally to get a better bone height or better esthetics, a graft is needed prior to bridge fabrication
Can you use an electric toothbrush on a bridge?
You can use any kind of toothbrush around a dental bridge.
Can you super glue a dental bridge?
You should never use any non-dental adhesive around teeth or in your mouth. It can be very toxic.
What Makes Our Office the Right Fit for Your Dental Needs?
We never take a one-size-fits-all approach to dental bridges. Dr. Chern will evaluate your missing teeth, working closely with our team to create a custom solution.
Our bright and modern Midtown East Manhattan office was designed with you in mind. Enjoy a calming atmosphere and comfortable amenities to help you feel at ease.
New York General Dentistry uses modern techniques and equipment to ensure your dental bridge treatment is a success.
Meet With Dr. Chern &
Her Manhattan Team
Dr. Inna Chern and our team can work with you to find the best treatment options to restore your beautiful smile with the treatments and technologies that fit you best. To learn more about dental bridges and your restoration options, contact our office for an appointment by calling or filling out our online form.
Our New York City Office
Sundays – Available by request for special cases and dental emergencies
“One of the most wonderful dentists I have ever been to. Inna is kind, compassionate, and truly cares about her patients. I was always afraid of dentists until I met Inna. Highly recommend her for any dentistry needs – and if you would like your dentist to be your new best friend!”– Abhi G.