What Greenwood, SC patients can expect during a dental bridge procedure
Missing natural teeth have a negative effect on a patient’s smile, both in a cosmetic sense and with regard to functionality. When teeth are missing, problems such as shifting, TMJ, bite changes, periodontal disease, and decreased chewing efficiency are extremely common. Dr. Christopher Griffin encourages those who have lost teeth from trauma, gum disease, or extraction to schedule a visit as soon as possible. He’ll be happy to help in exploring restorative options to enhance and maintain healthy smiles.
Patients who are looking for an economical, long-term option should consider the dental bridge procedure. Greenwood, SC residents can benefit from dental bridges to “bridge the gap” created by the loss of a natural tooth or several teeth. Bridges are an affordable alternative to dental implants, and are a more permanent solution than partial dentures, although those methods can be appropriate for addressing tooth loss, and each has its own benefits.
If a patient wants to learn more about the dental bridge procedure, Dr. Griffin explains the process step by step. First, the patient attends a consultation appointment. This is a visit with Dr. Griffin to determine which restorative option is right for that individual’s smile and budget.
Once it has been decided that a dental bridge is the best solution, Dr. Griffin prepares the teeth on either side of the gap. This requires removal of a small portion of enamel so that crowns will fit snugly. He creates molds of the patient’s dental arch to get a precise picture of existing teeth. These impressions are sent to a professional dental laboratory where the restoration is created. Meanwhile, temporary crowns are placed to protect the prepped teeth.
The lab fabricates a dental bridge and crowns according to Dr. Griffin’s precise instructions, matching the color and appearance of the patient’s existing teeth. Within a few weeks, the bridge is returned and the patient visits for final placement.
The bridge is held firmly in place, bonded to the surrounding teeth by the crowns, Dr. Griffin provides instruction on proper aftercare to help the restoration last for many years. The patient is educated on how to floss around and under the bridge to avoid development of periodontal disease. Of course, regular dental examinations are vital to ensure maintenance of the patient’s dental health after the placement of a dental bridge.