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Dental professional checking a dental bridge
If you have one or two missing teeth, a dental bridge may be an appropriate restoration option for you. Unlike dentures, a dental bridge is permanently affixed in place. This device is supported by adjacent crowns, which are placed on the teeth or dental implants to either side of the bridge. Before undergoing any dental work, your dentist in Westlake will let you know how you can prepare and what you can expect. The exact steps that are needed for the procedure depend on whether you have natural teeth that will support the bridge or whether you will need dental implants.

Having a Dental Assessment

The first step in restoring your missing tooth is to schedule an assessment with your dentist. To determine if a partial bridge is right for you, your dentist will perform a comprehensive oral examination, take X-rays, and create dental impressions. Then, he or she will explain the type of bridge that may be appropriate for you and discuss whether you need to have any other treatments performed first. For example, some people might need a root canal. If the teeth to either side of the gap are in imminent danger of failing, it might be appropriate to extract them before placing dental implants.

Preparing for Dental Implants

If you will need dental implants before getting your bridge, you’ll receive detailed pre-surgical instructions to follow. Sometimes, patients are asked to refrain from eating or drinking for a period of time before the appointment. Be sure to explain whether you’re taking any medications or supplements. Sometimes, it is necessary to temporarily discontinue these products before having dental surgery. If you currently smoke, you can expect to be asked to quit before your procedure. Smoking not only inhibits the post-surgical healing process; it also increases the failure rate for implants.

Receiving the Dental Bridge

After you receive your dental implants, it’s time to place the partial bridge. If you did not receive implants, then your dentist will need to prepare the adjacent teeth to support the bridge. This is accomplished by removing enough of the natural tooth material to place a dental crown on each of the supporting teeth. Then, your dentist will carefully check the fit of the bridge before cementing the entire device firmly into place.