Temporary Bridge – Dental Treatment

Introduction –Temporary Bridge

If a missing tooth is present and if the patient follows good oral as well as dental hygiene practices, the prudent choice for the tooth replacement is a bridge.

Introduction to temporary bridge procedure:

A dental bridge is a dental technique of restoration utilized for replacement of missing tooth. It adheres to contiguous teeth or other implants. These bridges prevent dental problems like decay of tooth, speech disturbances and shifting teeth. There are several different types of bridges available depending upon the location of the missing teeth, the condition of the surrounding teeth and choice of the patient.

Purpose of a bridge:

The most essential purpose of fixing a dental bridge is for preventing the contiguous teeth from shifting in a place created by missing teeth.  This shifting also causes change of bite, sore jaws and problems in the jaw joint.  Such uneven bite makes chewing difficult and can cause a person to grind and clench instead. The teeth opposite to a missing tooth can become loose and sometimes extrude from the place. . Missing teeth also compromise dental and oral hygiene causing tooth decay and various gum diseases.

Procedure:

There are several steps in the making of this bridge. First, the dentist examines the teeth and decides that the patient is a candidate for a bridge or not. Once the decision is made, a baseline X-ray film of teeth can be taken. The process goes as given:

  1. In the first visit, the dentist prepares the teeth on either side of the defect left by a missing tooth. A mild anesthetic medicine is injected to numb the area. Then the cosmetic dentist makes enough space between the teeth on either side so as to accommodate the thickness of the crown. If these teeth already have fillings, they are left in place serving as a foundation for the crown.
  2. The dentist makes an impression, from which the bridge, false tooth and crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Until the next visit, patient is made to wear a temporary bridge. This temporary bridge protects the teeth and gums till the next visit. Or else, a Flipper appliance is used in the place of missing tooth which can also serve as temporary bridge. A Flipper is a false tooth attached via either a wire or a plastic piece to the roof of the mouth awaiting the permanent bridge.
  3. On the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and new permanent bridge is fitted and checked and adjusted for any bite problems. If none, the new bridge is cemented to the teeth permanently.

Care of the temporary bridge:

  1. Eating and chewing should be avoided until the effect of the anesthetic goes away completely. Otherwise there is a risk of biting the tongue inside of the cheek.
  2. Chewing anything sticky or chewy on the side of the mouth where the temporary bridge is placed should be avoided. A temporary bridge can be displaced by chewing.
  3. Flossing should be done carefully near a temporary bridge. The proper way can be demonstrated by the dentist to the patient.
  4. Some sensitivity to extremes of the temperatures can persist for few days. It generally goes away after placing the permanent bridge.
  5. Soreness of gums can be present after the visit. Rinsing with warm salt water decreases the sore sensation.
  6. If the temporary bridge comes off, it can be put back in place at home. But if it continues to come off or if it cannot be placed back in the place, visit to the dentist is necessary.

Disadvantages of having a dental bridge:

  1. The teeth can become mildly sensitive to extreme temperatures for a few weeks after the bridge placement.
  2. If proper oral hygiene is not practiced, the growth of bacteria formed from the food acids on teeth and gums can become infected.
  3. Cost of the procedure must also be weighed against its advantages.

- Link of interest: Twitter Temporary Bridge – Dental Treatment.

 

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

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