Your NC dentist discusses how to care maximize the lifespan of dental bridges
When a tooth has been damaged, we may consider repair with a dental crown that provides full coverage. In our NC office, dental bridges may be considered as a restorative treatment after tooth loss or extraction. Dental bridgework has, in fact, been one of the most common forms of tooth replacement for well over a century. For many, the speed and cost of dental bridge treatment may be very appealing, though we do also encourage patients to consider the long term benefits of dental implants. In consultation with Dr. Hatcher, you have the ability to obtain the information you need to confidently choose the type of tooth replacement best suited to your unique needs.
A sad statistic related to dental bridgework shows us that this form of care often fails within a few years. The success of your bridgework is fortunately largely within your hands. When the dental bridge is the chosen form of treatment, we discuss with our patients the best way to maximize the lifespan of their restoration.
Crowns and bridges are made of materials that will resist corrosion. This means that the actual restoration cannot develop cavities. The concern with bridgework, in particular, is the risk to “anchor” teeth, the natural teeth on each side of the empty space that stabilize the bridge appliance.
The most common type of bridge is the fixed bridge. While ideal for stability, the fixed bridge poses a small challenge to routine hygiene. At the center of the bridge is the artificial tooth or teeth, which sit on top of the gums. In the small space beneath, bacteria and debris can accumulate. Should this occur, the acidic byproduct from tiny microorganisms can weaken healthy gum tissue and cause decay in nearby enamel. If gum tissue becomes weakened around the anchor teeth that have been crowned, infection may occur near the tooth’s root.
The good news is that debris and bacteria can be managed with careful hygiene. Dr. Hatcher works with patients treated with bridgework to develop healthy home care habits that promote longevity in their restoration. During routine exams, our team carefully checks all areas of the mouth, taking extra care around the bridge. We also demonstrate, as needed, how to brush and floss around the bridge so that health is preserved in the months in between dental visits.
We partner with our patients in the care of their teeth and their restorations. Call (336) 383-1482 for your appointment with our friendly, experienced team.
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