A bridge is a single fixed appliance used to replace one or more missing teeth. The teeth next to the missing tooth or teeth are used to hold the bridge in place. A set of artificial crowns connected together are used to replace the missing tooth or teeth and are cemented over the adjacent teeth. Once a bridge is cemented in place it is not removable. The bridge will require special care to clean under with floss and flossing aids. Your dentist or hygienist will demonstrate and explain proper care for your bridge.
The process for a bridge is almost identical to that of an individual crown
-At the first appointment the teeth directly adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth are numbed to make the process more comfortable. The teeth are shaped to allow a crown to fit over each tooth. Impression are then taken and sent to the lab. A temporary bridge will be made to protect the teeth until the permanent bridge is made.
-The second visit is usually one to two weeks after the initial appointment. During this visit, the permanent bridge will be checked to make sure that the patient and dentist are satisfied with how it looks and fits. The bridge is then cemented into place.
Please note that crowns are not a permanent restoration due to everyday use and the harsh environment of the mouth. They may need replacement in the future. It is important to care for bridges/crowns like natural teeth as the teeth can still get a cavity after crown placement.
A partial denture is a removable appliance that replace one or more missing teeth. The teeth are attached to a gum colored plastic to make the appliance look as natural as possible. Our office typically makes two kinds of partials- 1. With pink acrylic and a metal framework, and 2. flexible framework without metal. The dentist will decide which type of partial is best for each patient. If teeth need to be removed before the partial is made, a 4-6 week healing period is necessary.
The partial process usually consists of 5 appointments:
-preliminary impression- usually sent to the lab to help plan best option
-final impression- sent to lab to make metal/acrylic framework
-try in- to evaluate framework fit and select teeth shape and shade for partial
-tooth try in- try-in selected teeth and framework, if everything goes as planned, send to lab to finish; if additional adjustments are needed before final processing they are completed at this time.
After the partial is finished it is likely you may have sore spots and adjustments may be necessary to ensure that the partial fits comfortably.
A denture is a removable appliance that is used when all of the teeth on an arch are missing. The teeth are attached to a gum colored plastic base to make the denture look as natural as possible. Typically dentures on the upper arch stay in place better than dentures on the bottom arch because they have a larger area for the denture to “suction” to. Sometimes an over the counter adhesive may need to be worn to keep the upper and/or lower denture in place.
There are two kinds of dentures available at our office. The dentist will work with you to find the best denture for your needs.
Conventional Denture - This denture typically gives patient the most satisfying end result. The teeth are extracted, and the mouth is given 6-8 weeks to fully heal. This denture process is done in 4 appointments. After the denture is complete, adjustments may need to be made after the denture has been worn to make the denture fit comfortably.
-impression- use material to take a mold of your bone/gums
-wax rim- select teeth (shade/shape)
-try in- try in dentures in wax form- if changes need to be made it is done at this appointment before final processing
Immediate Denture – This denture is made before the teeth are extracted, and it is placed immediately the same day the teeth are removed. The benefit is the patient will not have to be without teeth and it helps to reduce swelling. However, the gum tissue and bone changes significantly within 4-6 weeks to a few months, which causes the denture to become loose over time. A reline, which adds material to the denture to make it fit tighter, is usually done at an additional fee. An additional disadvantage of the immediate denture is that they can sometimes be less aesthetically pleasing as you cannot try it in before the teeth are extracted. The process for this denture takes 4 appointments.
-extraction appointment to remove back teeth (this allows for a better fitting immediate denture but does not guarantee better esthetics.
-wax rim try in (if possible)
-extract front teeth and deliver denture