If you have a missing tooth or teeth one of the best ways to replace them is to have a dental bridge installed. A dental bridge is exactly what is sounds like – basically, two crowns are placed on either side of the missing tooth or teeth in order to anchor a prosthetic tooth or teeth. The anchoring teeth are called abutments and the prosthetics are called pontics. Pontics can be made out different of materials. Most, however, are made out of gold or porcelain and in some cases they are made out of a mixture of these two materials. In order to know whether a bridge are the best solution for your missing tooth or teeth your San Diego, CA dentist will examine you and then make a recommendation. Keep in mind that you can only have a bridge if the teeth next to the gap are strong – sometimes a bridge is not the answer. Dental bridges can be expected to last for between 10 and 20 years.
Why should you use a dental bridge to replace missing teeth?
This question is quite common – after all, missing teeth cannot impact the quality of one’s life. That is true, but there are disadvantages to having gaps in your jaw. The first is that it affects your appearance – the face tends to sink in where the gaps are located. You have seen old people who have lost their teeth – their cheeks usually look hollowed out. The same could happen to you even at a young age if you don’t replace missing teeth. There are other reasons why you should consider bridges to fill gaps:
- Gaps affect the way you speak – you may not be able to articulate certain words properly making it hard for others to understand you. They may even ridicule you.
- Missing teeth make it hard to eat and they also limit you to the number of foods that you can eat – you can only eat soft foods. In the long term, this may affect your overall health.
- The teeth next to a gap usually end up suffering – they will drift inwards into the gap and it can affect your whole jaw.
- Missing teeth can make you self conscious and this can lead to missed opportunities because you don’t mix freely with people.
Although bridges can be used to replace teeth that fall out naturally, they are also very useful in case you have a tooth pulled. Sometimes a tooth is so badly damaged by a cavity that there is no point of it remaining in the mouth at all. When this is the case the dentist has no choice than to pull it out. In such a case a dental bridge is a great way to fill the gap but you have to wait for about six months for the area to be completely healed before you can have it installed.
How about cost?
Different dentists in San Diego, CA charge differently for bridge work. In addition to that, how much you pay is determined by the number of teeth that you are replacing. The material that the bridge is made out of will also make a difference – if you choose to have a bridge that is made out of pure gold you will pay more than if you choose one that is an alloy. If the teeth adjoining the gap need some work, such as root canals, you will also have to pay more. Generally, if all you are having done is bridge installation you can expect to pay anything between $700 and $1,500 for every tooth you replace. Don’t let the price scare you off. There are a number of well-experienced San Diego, CA dentists who offer payment plans for their patients. You will be required to pay an initial down payment amount and then a small amount every month until you clear the debt.
What does the procedure involve?
Installing dental bridges is relatively easy and there is no pain involved. The first thing that the dentist will do is reshape the teeth that will hold the bridge in order to ensure that they anchor well. After that, he makes an impression of the missing teeth as accurately as possible and sends it to a dental lab. You may be fitted with a temporary bridge as you wait for the lab to make yours, which takes only a few days. Once they arrive at your San Diego, CA dentist’s office he will give you a call so that he can take out the temporary bridge and fit you with the permanent one. The dentist adjusts and readjusts the bridge as many times as it takes to get the prosthetic teeth in the right position.