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Smile Perfections

Smile Perfections Dental & Cosmetic Clinic

  • 34 Harborough Road
  • Leicester
  • LE2 4LA
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We provide crowns and bridges to repair damaged teeth or for the restoration of missing teeth as part of our restorative care, here at Smile Perfections. Receiving treatment for missing or broken teeth is essential for the repair of dental function and it will also improve appearance for greater self-confidence.

If left untreated, missing teeth can result in an improper bite and this can affect both speaking and chewing capabilities. Teeth and gums can weaken and cause the jaw bone to suffer shrinkage, which will then negatively impact facial volume and expression. We aim to give patients a natural-looking set of functioning teeth for improved aesthetics and health.

Crowns

Crowns can be attached to a bridge on one or more sides of a missing tooth or they may be permanently fixed by a dental implant. Crowns are made from materials such as porcelain, glass or zirconium and will mimic natural tooth colour and shape. We also offer E-max Crowns. Crowns are used in cases where teeth are weakened and require additional strength, or they can be used for missing teeth on either the upper or lower dental arch.

Bridges

Bridges consist of a precious metal base or other material which is bonded with porcelain to anchor replacement teeth. If there are few teeth in need of replacement or tooth gaps are present on one side of the mouth, bridges can be an appropriate teeth replacement option.

Why Choose Crowns Or Bridges?

Tooth gaps weaken dental structure promoting further tooth and bone loss. Gum tissue can become irritated and cause inflammation and problems such as gingivitis. Damaged teeth have been proven to increase the risk of tooth decay which often leads to gum disease. Replacement teeth, such as crowns and bridges, restore teeth and improve the bite.

Our Smile Perfection dentist will evaluate each patient’s need for oral health improvement and will then discuss the most appropriate treatment options. Replacement teeth are elegantly designed to appear and feel natural.

 

DENTAL BRIDGES LEICESTER – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dental bridge, and why might I need one?

A dental bridge is a dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of an artificial tooth (or teeth) called a pontic, which is held in place by being attached to the adjacent teeth, known as abutment teeth.

Restoring Function and Appearance

Chewing and speaking

Missing teeth can make it challenging to chew and speak properly. A dental bridge helps restore the ability to chew food efficiently and pronounce words clearly by filling the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth.

Maintaining facial structure

When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth can begin to shift into the empty space, causing bite misalignment and potentially leading to further tooth loss. A dental bridge helps maintain the proper spacing and alignment of your remaining teeth, preserving your facial structure and appearance.

Preventing Further Dental Issues

Protecting adjacent teeth

Without a dental bridge, the teeth adjacent to the gap may begin to shift out of position or become loose over time. A bridge helps distribute the chewing forces evenly across all the teeth, preventing excessive wear or strain on the remaining teeth.

Preserving jawbone health

When a tooth is missing, the jawbone in that area can start to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation from chewing. A dental bridge helps maintain the integrity of the jawbone by transferring chewing forces to the area, preventing bone loss and preserving your overall oral health.

Aesthetic Considerations

Enhancing your smile

Missing teeth can significantly impact your smile and self-confidence. A dental bridge can restore the natural appearance of your smile by filling the gap with an artificial tooth designed to match the colour, shape, and size of your existing teeth.

Dental bridges are a reliable and long-lasting solution for restoring your ability to eat, speak, and smile confidently. By understanding the reasons you might need a dental bridge, you can make an informed decision about your oral health and overall well-being.

What are the different types of dental bridges?

Dental bridges come in various types, each designed to address specific needs and requirements. Understanding the different options can help you and your dentist make an informed decision about the most suitable solution for your situation.

Traditional Fixed Bridges

Crown-retained bridges

These are the most common type of dental bridges. They involve creating a crown for the teeth on either side of the gap (the abutment teeth) and attaching a pontic (the artificial tooth) to these crowns. This type of bridge is suitable when the adjacent teeth are healthy and can support the bridge.

Implant-Supported Bridges

Single implant-retained bridges

In this type, a single dental implant is placed in the jawbone to support the bridge. The implant acts as an artificial tooth root, providing a stable foundation for the pontic and the adjacent crowns. This option is ideal when there are healthy natural teeth on either side of the gap.

Implant-supported bridges

For larger gaps or multiple missing teeth, an implant-supported bridge involves placing two or more dental implants in the jawbone. The bridge is then securely attached to these implants, creating a strong and durable restoration that doesn’t rely on the adjacent natural teeth for support.

Cantilever Bridges

Single-unit cantilever bridges

A cantilever bridge is designed to replace a missing tooth when there is an adjacent natural tooth on only one side of the gap. The pontic is attached to a crown on the neighbouring tooth, essentially “cantilevering” over the gap. This option is typically recommended for replacing a missing front tooth or when there is no suitable tooth on one side of the gap.

Maryland Bridges

Metal or resin-bonded bridges

Maryland bridges are a more conservative option that doesn’t require crowns on the adjacent teeth. Instead, they consist of a pontic attached to a metal or resin framework that is bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is often used to replace a single missing front tooth.

Your dentist will consider factors such as the location of the missing tooth or teeth, the condition of your remaining teeth and jawbone, and your personal preferences to recommend the most suitable type of dental bridge for your specific needs.

What is the process of getting a dental bridge?

Getting a dental bridge typically involves several steps and appointments with your dentist. The process is designed to ensure a comfortable and successful restoration of your missing tooth or teeth.

Initial Consultation and Evaluation

Oral examination and X-rays

Your dentist will conduct a thorough oral examination, including taking X-rays, to assess the condition of your remaining teeth and jawbone. This evaluation helps determine the most suitable type of dental bridge and identify any potential issues that need to be addressed before proceeding.

Preparation of Abutment Teeth

Tooth reshaping

If you’re getting a traditional fixed bridge, the teeth adjacent to the gap (called abutment teeth) will need to be reshaped or slightly reduced in size. This process creates space for the crowns that will anchor the bridge in place.

Impressions and shade matching

Your dentist will take impressions (molds) of your teeth and determine the appropriate shade to ensure the bridge matches the colour of your natural teeth. These impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where your custom bridge will be fabricated.

Temporary Bridge Placement

Temporary restoration

While your permanent bridge is being made, your dentist may provide you with a temporary bridge to protect the prepared teeth and allow you to chew and speak comfortably during the interim period.

Permanent Bridge Placement

Fitting and adjustments

Once your permanent bridge is ready, you’ll return to the dental office for its placement. Your dentist will carefully check the fit, make any necessary adjustments, and cement the bridge securely in place. They may also provide instructions on how to care for your new bridge and what to expect during the adjustment period.

Follow-up Appointments

Monitoring and maintenance

After receiving your dental bridge, your dentist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor its condition and ensure proper fit and function. Regular check-ups, professional cleanings, and good oral hygiene practices are essential for maintaining the longevity of your dental bridge.

The process of getting a dental bridge may span several weeks or months, depending on your individual circumstances and the type of bridge you receive. Your dentist will guide you through each step, ensuring a comfortable and successful outcome.

How long does it take to get a dental bridge?

The time it takes to get a dental bridge can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of bridge you’re receiving, the complexity of the procedure, and your individual circumstances. However, the process typically spans multiple appointments and may take several weeks or months from start to finish.

Initial Appointments

Consultation and evaluation

The first step involves an initial consultation and thorough evaluation by your dentist. During this appointment, they will examine your mouth, take X-rays, and discuss your treatment options. This initial phase may take a week or two to complete.

Preparation Phase

Reshaping abutment teeth

If you’re getting a traditional fixed bridge, the teeth adjacent to the gap (abutment teeth) will need to be reshaped or slightly reduced in size. This process, known as tooth preparation, is typically done during a separate appointment and may require a local anaesthetic.

Taking impressions and shade matching

After the abutment teeth are prepared, your dentist will take impressions (moulds) of your teeth and determine the appropriate shade to match your natural tooth colour. This information is sent to a dental laboratory where your custom bridge will be fabricated.

Laboratory Phase

Bridge fabrication

The dental laboratory will use the impressions and specifications provided by your dentist to construct your permanent dental bridge. This process can take several weeks, depending on the laboratory’s workload and the complexity of your case.

Final Placement

Fitting and adjustments

Once your permanent bridge is ready, you’ll return to the dental office for its placement. Your dentist will carefully check the fit, make any necessary adjustments, and cement the bridge securely in place. This final step may take one or two appointments, depending on the required adjustments.

Follow-up Appointments

Monitoring and maintenance

After receiving your dental bridge, your dentist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor its condition and ensure proper fit and function. These appointments are typically scheduled a few weeks and months after the placement, allowing for any necessary adjustments or maintenance.

In general, the entire process of getting a dental bridge can take anywhere from four to eight weeks or longer, depending on the specific circumstances. Your dentist will provide you with a more accurate timeline based on your individual needs and the type of bridge you’ll be receiving.

Is there any pain or discomfort associated with getting a dental bridge?

While getting a dental bridge is generally a straightforward procedure, some discomfort or mild pain may occur during and after the process. However, modern dental techniques and proper pain management strategies help minimize any potential discomfort.

During the Procedure

Local anaesthesia

Before beginning the preparation work for your dental bridge, your dentist will administer a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the teeth being treated. This ensures that you experience minimal discomfort during the shaping or reshaping of the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side of the gap).

Temporary sensitivity

While under the effects of the local anaesthetic, you may feel some pressure or vibrations during the treatment, but it should not cause significant pain. However, once the anaesthesia wears off, you may experience temporary sensitivity or mild discomfort in the treated area.

After the Procedure

Tooth sensitivity

It is common to experience some tooth sensitivity or mild discomfort for a few days after the abutment teeth have been prepared. This is typically due to the removal of a small amount of tooth structure, which can temporarily expose the inner layers of the tooth. Your dentist may recommend using desensitizing toothpaste or taking over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate any discomfort during this period.

Gum discomfort

The gum tissue around the prepared teeth may also feel slightly sore or tender for a few days after the procedure. This is a normal part of the healing process and should subside within a week or so. Rinsing with warm salt water can help soothe any gum discomfort.

Long-Term Comfort

Proper fit and adjustment

Once your permanent dental bridge is placed, your dentist will ensure a proper fit and make any necessary adjustments to prevent any long-term discomfort or pain. A well-fitted bridge should not cause any ongoing discomfort or interfere with your normal bite or chewing patterns.

While some temporary discomfort is expected, your dentist will take measures to minimize any pain or discomfort associated with getting a dental bridge. Following their post-operative instructions and promptly reporting any persistent or severe pain can help ensure a comfortable and successful outcome.

How do I care for my dental bridge?

Proper care and maintenance are essential for ensuring the longevity and success of your dental bridge. By following these guidelines, you can help protect your investment and maintain good oral health.

Oral Hygiene Routine

Brushing and flossing

Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, paying special attention to the area around the bridge. Floss daily, using a floss threader or interdental brushes to clean under and around the bridge. Proper brushing and flossing help remove plaque and food particles that can accumulate and lead to decay or gum disease.

Antibacterial mouthwash

Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the risk of gum disease and maintain good oral hygiene. Follow your dentist’s recommendations for the appropriate mouthwash and frequency of use.

Dietary Considerations

Avoiding hard or sticky foods

Steer clear of hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can potentially dislodge or damage your dental bridge. Examples include hard candies, nuts, ice cubes, and chewy or sticky sweets. These foods can put excessive stress on the bridge and increase the risk of complications.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Professional cleanings and evaluations

It’s essential to visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups. During these appointments, your dentist will thoroughly clean areas around the bridge that may be difficult to reach with regular brushing and flossing. They will also evaluate the condition of your bridge and ensure it is functioning correctly.

Avoiding Harmful Habits

Teeth grinding and clenching

Habits like teeth grinding (bruxism) or clenching can put excessive pressure on your dental bridge and potentially cause damage or dislodgement. If you grind or clench your teeth, your dentist may recommend wearing a nightguard or occlusal splint to protect your bridge and other teeth.

Using teeth as tools

Avoid using your teeth to tear, cut, or open objects, as this can also damage or dislodge your dental bridge. Instead, use appropriate tools like scissors or bottle openers for these tasks.

By following these care instructions and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, you can help extend the lifespan of your dental bridge and enjoy a healthy, functional smile for years to come.

Can I eat normally with a dental bridge?

In most cases, you can resume eating normally once you’ve fully adjusted to your new dental bridge. However, there are a few precautions and considerations to keep in mind during the initial adjustment period and for the long-term care of your bridge.

Initial Adjustment Period

Soft foods recommended

Immediately after getting your dental bridge, your dentist will likely recommend sticking to a soft or liquid diet for a few days. This allows your mouth to adjust to the new restoration and minimizes any discomfort or irritation. Suitable options during this time include soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and soft-cooked vegetables.

Chewing on the opposite side

You may also find it more comfortable to chew on the side of your mouth opposite the bridge at first. This helps reduce any pressure or discomfort on the newly placed restoration as you become accustomed to it.

Long-Term Considerations

Avoiding hard or sticky foods

While you can generally eat most foods with a dental bridge, it’s best to avoid extremely hard, crunchy, or sticky items that can potentially damage or dislodge the bridge. Examples include hard candies, nuts, ice cubes, and chewy or sticky sweets.

Proper chewing technique

When eating with a dental bridge, it’s essential to chew evenly on both sides of your mouth. Chewing primarily on one side can put excessive stress on the bridge and potentially cause complications over time.

Regular Check-ups

Professional evaluation

During your regular dental check-ups, your dentist will examine your bridge and ensure it is functioning correctly. They may make any necessary adjustments to your bite or the fit of the bridge to ensure you can continue eating normally without discomfort or complications.

With proper care and a little adjustment period, you should be able to enjoy your favorite foods and resume normal eating habits with your dental bridge. However, if you experience persistent discomfort or notice any issues with your bridge, be sure to contact your dentist promptly for an evaluation.

Are there any foods or habits I should avoid with a dental bridge?

While dental bridges are designed to be durable and long-lasting, certain foods and habits can potentially damage or dislodge them. To ensure the longevity and proper function of your dental bridge, it’s essential to be mindful of the following:

Foods to Avoid

Hard, crunchy, or sticky foods

Avoid consuming excessively hard or crunchy foods like hard candies, nuts, ice cubes, or hard crusty bread, as they can put excessive pressure on your dental bridge and potentially cause it to crack, chip, or become dislodged. Similarly, sticky or chewy foods like caramels, toffees, or gummy sweets can adhere to your bridge and potentially damage it when you try to remove them.

Sugary and acidic foods

Excessive consumption of sugary or acidic foods and beverages can increase your risk of tooth decay and erosion around the bridge. Try to limit your intake of sugary treats, sodas, and acidic foods like citrus fruits or juices to maintain good oral health.

Habits to Avoid

Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Grinding or clenching your teeth, a condition known as bruxism, can put significant stress on your dental bridge and potentially cause it to loosen or become dislodged over time. If you grind or clench your teeth, your dentist may recommend wearing a nightguard or occlusal splint to protect your bridge and natural teeth.

Using teeth as tools

Avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages, tear tape, or bite on hard objects like pen caps or fingernails. These habits can damage your dental bridge or cause it to become loose or dislodged.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Professional evaluation and maintenance

Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are essential for maintaining the health and integrity of your dental bridge. During these visits, your dentist can identify any potential issues early and provide guidance on how to care for your bridge properly.

By avoiding certain foods and habits, and following your dentist’s recommendations, you can help ensure the longevity and proper function of your dental bridge, allowing you to enjoy a healthy, comfortable smile for years to come.

Can a dental bridge become loose or fall out?

Yes, it is possible for a dental bridge to become loose or even fall out over time. While dental bridges are designed to be durable and long-lasting, they are not permanent solutions and may require maintenance or replacement eventually.

Causes of Loosening or Dislodgement

Excessive force or trauma

Dental bridges can become loose or dislodged due to excessive force or trauma to the area. This can occur from biting down on hard objects, experiencing a blow to the mouth, or habits like teeth grinding (bruxism) that put constant pressure on the bridge.

Tooth decay or gum disease

If tooth decay or gum disease develops around the abutment teeth (the teeth that support the bridge), it can cause these teeth to weaken or become unstable, leading to a loose or dislodged bridge.

Signs of a Loose Bridge

Discomfort or sensitivity

If you experience discomfort, sensitivity, or a feeling of movement when biting down or chewing, it could be a sign that your dental bridge has become loose or is no longer properly fitted.

Shifting or misalignment

If you notice that your dental bridge appears to be shifting or no longer aligns correctly with your other teeth, it may indicate that it has become loose or dislodged.

What to Do If Your Bridge Becomes Loose or Falls Out

Seek prompt dental attention

If you suspect your dental bridge has become loose or has fallen out, it’s crucial to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Leaving a loose or dislodged bridge in place can further damage the surrounding teeth and gum tissue, and increase the risk of infection.

Temporary solutions

If your bridge has fallen out completely, you may be able to temporarily reattach it using denture adhesive or a temporary cement until you can see your dentist. However, it’s essential to follow your dentist’s instructions and not attempt to force a loose or dislodged bridge back into place, as this could cause further damage.

Regular dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene can help prevent issues that could lead to a loose or dislodged dental bridge. However, if you experience any concerns, it’s crucial to seek prompt professional attention to address the issue and ensure the long-term success of your dental restoration.

What should I do if my dental bridge becomes loose or falls out?

If you notice that your dental bridge has become loose or has fallen out, it’s essential to take prompt action to prevent further complications and address the issue appropriately.

Immediate Steps

Secure the Bridge

If your dental bridge has become loose but is still partially attached, avoid removing it or forcing it back into place. Instead, gently secure the loose portion with a temporary dental adhesive or denture adhesive until you can see your dentist.

Protect the Area

If the bridge has fallen out completely, carefully retrieve it and store it in a clean, secure container. Avoid chewing or putting pressure on the affected area to prevent further irritation or damage to the surrounding teeth and gums.

Seek Professional Dental Care

Schedule an Appointment

Contact your dentist’s office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Explain the situation and request an urgent visit, as a loose or dislodged dental bridge requires prompt attention to prevent further complications.

Dental Examination

During your appointment, your dentist will thoroughly examine the affected area, assess the condition of the bridge, and determine the underlying cause of the loosening or dislodgement. This could be due to factors such as normal wear and tear, tooth decay, gum disease, or trauma to the mouth.

Treatment Options

Bridge Repair or Replacement

Depending on the severity of the issue and the condition of the bridge, your dentist may recommend repairing or replacing the dental bridge. If the bridge can be repaired, your dentist will secure it back into place and make any necessary adjustments for a proper fit.

Addressing Underlying Issues

If the loosening or dislodgement was caused by an underlying condition, such as tooth decay or gum disease, your dentist will provide appropriate treatment to address these issues before proceeding with the repair or replacement of the dental bridge.

Acting promptly when a dental bridge becomes loose or falls out is crucial to prevent further complications and ensure the long-term success of your dental restoration. By following your dentist’s recommendations and maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you can help extend the lifespan of your dental bridge and maintain a healthy, functional smile.

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