Bridges replace small groups of teeth in areas where they're lost due to decay, illness, or accident. Dr. Gerald A. Cioffi at Gerald A. Cioffi DMD, PA in Orange Park, Florida, a comprehensive dentist and oral medicine specialist, can create custom bridges that work perfectly with the rest of your teeth to give you a full smile.
Dental bridges are appliances created to fill in the gaps where teeth are missing. Dental bridges can be made for single teeth, but they're most often used for small groups of teeth positioned close together with one or more missing teeth. Bridges are fixed into place in your mouth, using the natural teeth nearby for extra support. Bridges are typically made from metal alloys and porcelain.
A bridge can be the most effective way to restore the full smile. For some patients, problems like a sunken face due to missing teeth are immediately resolved, as the dental bridge fills out the face. Having a full mouth of teeth again also allows you to eat normally, speak with confidence, and feel secure about your teeth.
A dental bridge requires a short series of appointments, usually 2-3 visits in total. During the initial visit, Dr. Cioffi evaluates your mouth in a full oral exam. This includes X-rays, which allow Dr. Cioffi to evaluate the condition of the teeth roots and the supporting jaw bone. If you're a good candidate for a dental bridge, Dr. Cioffi does some contouring and shaving of the support teeth to help them accommodate the bridge.
A three dimensional scan of your mouth is made to make sure that the bridge fits perfectly. You'll wear a temporary bridge while the permanent bridge is being made. When the permanent bridge is ready, Dr. Cioffi puts it in place, checks the fit, and then finally cements it for longevity.
This can vary among patients, but most patients get at least a decade of use from their bridges. In most cases, they last far longer than that.
Your new dental bridge doesn't require any special care. Brush regularly and floss daily for best results. Be cautious when flossing, avoiding jerking motions that could potentially dislodge the bridge. Dr. Cioffi will check on your bridge during future check-ups and dental cleanings.