If you’ve lost teeth due to an accident, injury, or gum disease, our dental professionals can create permanent dental bridges to restore function and beauty to your smile. Dental bridges serve several purposes for our patients in Reston, VA, as well as Oakton, Vienna, and Northern Virginia. They not only fill in the gaps but also prevent the repositioning of the remaining teeth. They can correct a misaligned bite, improve chewing function and speech articulation, and provide internal structure for the face to give you a more youthful appearance. We also provide additional restorative dentistry services to new and existing patients in Reston, VA.
Traditional Vs. Fixed Dental Bridges
The style of bridge we suggest will depend upon the strength and health of the abutment teeth as well as the location of the gap in relation to the rest of your dentition.
Traditional bridges are what you probably think of when you think of a bridge. They’re removable and consist of a restoration with fake teeth that clasps onto your natural teeth. These usually don’t give you back much of your bite function. You risk them breaking if you’re biting into something hard. They have to be taken out overnight to reduce the stress on your teeth and cleaned in a specific way to ensure that they’re cleaned properly.
A dental bridge attaches to two anchor teeth on either side of the restoration. However, these natural teeth take on a lot of stress when they’re supporting a bridge. Anchor teeth wear down faster and have a higher risk of developing tooth decay or fracturing. We usually recommend stabilizing these anchor teeth with dental crowns. Crowns protect the natural teeth and take on the brunt of the stress of supporting the restoration.
A fixed dental bridge stays in your mouth, and you don’t remove it. Fixed dental bridges are more stable, and you get more of your bite function back. Crowned natural teeth can support these bridges, but they can also be supported with dental implants. Supporting a bridge with implants requires nothing of your natural teeth. Even when natural teeth have crowns on them, a significant amount of natural tooth structure needs to be removed to make room for the crown.
With a fixed bridge, you’re able to follow your normal oral health routine. You can brush your teeth as you normally would. Flossing is normal, too, with a few exceptions. We’ll educate you and give you specialized tools if necessary to ensure you can floss under your bridge and ensure everything is properly cleaned. With dental implants, you’ll get back full bite function and don’t have to change your diet.
Dental Bridge FAQs
How do you clean a dental bridge?
Patients can clean a bridge by brushing and flossing the area the bridge is in twice daily. Patients should also schedule regular dentist visits and cleanings to have a professional clean and inspect their bridge and oral health.
Can you get an infection under a dental bridge?
Bridges themselves cannot become infected. However, natural teeth beneath or around can become infected. Teeth can decay and become infected if the bridge is not cleaned properly.
How long after getting a dental bridge can I eat?
After a dental bridge is placed, patients should wait at least one hour before eating. It is recommended that patients stick to a soft diet following the procedure until they have adjusted to their new bridge.
Can a dental bridge be removed and put back?
Dental bridges can be removed, repaired, and replaced. The cement used to place the bridge is meant to last for years. However, it can be removed if needed.
How long should my implant-supported bridge last?
The bridge that is attached to your implant typically lasts about 10-20 years before needing replacement. The implant beneath never needs a replacement and should last a lifetime.
Can a dentist remove and reattach a dental bridge?
If a bridge breaks, your dentist can remove, repair, and reattach it. It is a fairly easy procedure to remove a bridge and replace it. The cement used to hold your bridge in place is very durable, but it is not impossible to remove. If you feel that your bridge is loose or needs a repair, call us today to schedule an appointment! We can help!
Is it painful to have a dental bridge removed?
We will need to remove the cement that was used to place your bridge to remove it. This is similar to the braces removal process. It may be slightly uncomfortable, but it should not be painful.
Contact Dr. Wayne Myles About Dental Bridges
If you have questions about dental crowns, dental bridges, or any other restorative treatment, contact our Northern Virginia dental office in Reston or schedule a consultation online. We will be happy to discuss your treatment options and schedule a thorough oral evaluation.