Dental bridges are one of the most popular ways to replace missing teeth. This type of restoration is sturdy, natural-looking, and long-lasting. However, before you commit to a dental bridge, you should be aware of how it can affect your oral health. Specifically, you should know about the impact it can have on the teeth that support it. In this blog post, we will discuss what a dental bridge in Creve Coeur is and whether it has the ability to protect its supporting teeth from infection and decay.
What Exactly Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a multi-unit prosthetic. Traditionally, it has two crowns, which get placed over the teeth on each side of an empty space (the abutment teeth). The crowns support an artificial tooth (called a pontic) between them, thus “bridging” the gap. In order to place a dental bridge, your dentist must remove some enamel from the abutment teeth so they fit well beneath the crowns. Dental bridges can be made out of various materials, including porcelain, gold, silver, or other metals.
Does a Dental Bridge Protect Your Teeth?
The crowns in a dental bridge completely cover your abutment teeth with a durable material. It would be easy to assume that the crowns are therefore a protection against infection and decay. While it is true that the crowns provide a bit of a shield for the teeth, they by no means make the teeth invulnerable. Your teeth are still at risk because:
- Bacteria and food particles may be able to sneak beneath the crowns.
- The crowns make it quite difficult to keep the abutment teeth clean because they prevent you from directly brushing the teeth.
- An old or damaged bridge may be misshapen, which increases the likelihood that harmful substances can sneak beneath it.
Protecting Your Abutment Teeth
Avoiding decay and infections in your abutment teeth requires that you:
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene. You should always be diligent about brushing the gumline around your bridge. It is also important to floss beneath the pontic.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist will inspect your bridge to make sure it is in good shape.
- Remain on the lookout for signs of damage to your bridge. If you ever notice that your bridge doesn’t seem to fit quite right, or you notice visible signs of damage, do not wait until your next regularly scheduled dental appointment to seek professional help. Call your dentist right away.
A dental bridge is an excellent tooth replacement option, but it does not make your teeth invulnerable to damage. Diligently caring for your restoration and the teeth beneath it is vital!
About the Dentists
Drs. James and Jenna Feigenbaum are a father-daughter team of dentists who work together to provide top-quality care for residents of the greater St. Louis area. Their experience, advanced training, and state-of-the-art technology ensure the best possible patient experience. They offer a broad range of services, including dental bridges, preventive care, and much more. To learn more about them or to ask for advice on how to protect your oral health, contact our practice at 314-567-1777.