Step-by-Step: What to Expect During Preparation for a Dental Bridge

Preparing for a dental bridge requires several diagnostic procedures, tooth preparation and impressions, and temporary bridges and crowns to ensure the best possible outcome. This blog post will discuss the necessary steps in preparing for a dental bridge and what you can expect during each step. 

We will also cover addressing any additional needs that may arise during the process. With comprehensive knowledge of these procedures, you can be sure you are well-prepared before receiving your new dental bridge.

1. Diagnostic Procedures for a Dental Bridge

A dental bridge is a common way to fill gaps in the mouth caused by missing teeth. In order for dentists to properly assess the patient’s needs and provide the best treatment options, an accurate diagnosis of the existing gap or tooth loss must be completed. The following diagnostic procedures are typically used in diagnosing and planning for a dental bridge:

Clinical Examination

The first step of any treatment plan is an evaluation by a dentist. This entails a thorough examination of all areas of the mouth, including teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues. The dentist may take x-rays or other imaging tests to better view the area that needs to be treated. 

Evaluating the Current Bite Relationship 

The dentist will use various tools to evaluate the current bite relationship, which is how the upper and lower teeth come together when the patient bites down. This helps them identify any abnormalities in the bite or tooth alignment that may interfere with treatment plans.

Diagnostic Wax-Up

A diagnostic wax-up is a model of what a dental bridge would look like on the patient’s mouth. This allows dentists to get an idea of how much space they have to work with and what type of materials should be used. It also helps patients visualize their new smile before committing to any treatment plans. 

Analyzing Tooth Shade and Texture

To ensure that a dental bridge matches the rest of the patient’s teeth, dentists will analyze tooth shade and texture. This helps them pick out materials for the bridge that blend in with existing teeth and provide an aesthetically pleasing result. 

These diagnostic procedures are critical for making sure patients get the best treatment possible when it comes to dental bridges. By having a better understanding of their current bite relationship, what type of materials should be used, and how to best match tooth shade and texture, dentists can create customized treatment plans that meet each patient’s individual needs. 

2. Tooth Preparation and Impressions

Tooth preparation and impressions for a dental bridge are important steps in the process of inserting a bridge, which is used to replace multiple missing teeth. With proper tooth preparation and accurate impressions, a successful bridge can be achieved. 

Tooth Preparation for a Dental Bridge

The first step in the process of getting a dental bridge is tooth preparation. During this procedure, the dentist will shape and reshape your teeth to make room for the new bridge. This involves removing any decay or filling material, as well as shaving down some of the healthy tooth structure to make space for the bridge.

The dentist may also use a drill or other instruments to create an opening in the enamel that allows access to the underlying dentin. Once these preparations are complete, your dentist will take impressions of your mouth so they can craft a customized bridge that fits perfectly into place.

Impressions for a Dental Bridge

The second step in getting a dental bridge is taking impressions of your mouth. This is done by taking a series of molds of your teeth and gums, which will then be sent to the laboratory that specializes in creating dental bridges.

The impressions provide the laboratory with an exact map of your mouth, so they can craft a bridge that complements your natural tooth structure and fits perfectly into place. If you have any concerns or questions about the process, talk to your dentist before the procedure begins. They will be able to explain all steps in detail and answer any questions you may have. 

Once the impressions are taken, they will be sent off to the laboratory where they will construct a custom-made bridge for you. Once it’s complete, it will be shipped back to your dentist’s office and then fitted into place. The entire process usually takes a few weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of your case. 

After the bridge has been fitted, you will need to attend regular checkups with your dentist to ensure that it is functioning correctly and staying in place. 

3. Temporary Bridges & Crowns

Temporary bridges and crowns are a necessary part of preparing for a dental bridge, allowing the dentist to check the fit of the bridge before it is permanently placed. 

What Are Temporary Bridges and Crowns?

A temporary bridge or crown is created following an initial examination and x-rays by your dentist. It usually takes two visits to complete this stage in the process; during the first visit, teeth are prepared for permanent restoration, impressions are taken, and a temporary bridge or crown is placed. 

During the second visit, which usually occurs around 7-10 days later, permanent bridges and crowns can be inserted after the dentist has checked the fit of the temporaries.

Why Are Temporary Bridges and Crowns Necessary?

Temporary bridges and crowns are an important part of preparing for a dental bridge, as they allow the dentist to check the fit before making permanent restorations. This helps ensure that the dental bridge is correct and provides adequate support during chewing. 

In addition, temporary bridges and crowns also provide protection from further damage or infection while you wait for your permanent bridge to be placed.

How Do Temporary Bridges and Crowns Work?

Once impressions have been taken of your teeth, these will be sent to a laboratory where the temporary bridge or crown will be made using an acrylic resin material. When it is ready, usually within a week, the dentist will fit it in your mouth and adjust it as necessary. 

Temporary bridges and crowns are not intended to be permanent restorations; they typically last between 2-6 weeks. During this time, you may experience some discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold things. This is normal and should improve once the permanent bridge is in place. 

4. Addressing Any Additional Needs

When preparing for a dental bridge, it is important to consider any additional needs that may be required.

Oral Health

Before having a dental bridge placed, it is essential that the patient’s overall oral health is addressed. This will involve making sure any existing cavities or gum disease have been treated and resolved prior to proceeding with the installation of the bridge. The dentist will also make sure that your bite is balanced and comfortable before placing the bridge.

Adjacent Teeth

It is important to consider the adjacent teeth that will be supporting the dental bridge. These teeth may require endodontic treatment or crowns in order to protect them from excessive wear and tear due to the added pressure of a bridge being placed on them. 

The dentist will also take into account any existing fillings, crowns, or other restorations that are present and make sure they are still intact before proceeding with the installation of the bridge. 

Other Treatments

In addition to addressing oral health and assessing adjacent teeth, it is also important to consider any other treatments that may need to be done prior to placing a dental bridge. For example, if there are missing teeth that are adjacent to the area where the bridge is being placed, then these teeth will need to be replaced with dental implants or a traditional bridge in order to provide adequate support for the new bridge.

With proper preparation and addressing any additional needs, patients can ensure they get the most out of their dental bridge.

If you’re looking for experienced dentists to handle all of your needs regarding a dental bridge, contact Glen Park Dental today at (604) 474-0403 or email us at! We have the skills and expertise necessary to provide you with a safe and effective treatment that will be sure to leave you feeling confident in your smile. 

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