Some people hear the phrase cosmetic dentistry and think only about teeth whitening and perfecting teeth that are already straight. Though we at Parkcrest Dental Group do whiten teeth and have a board certified orthodontist on staff in Springfield, MO, we offer much more in the way of cosmetic dentistry. Not all of these procedures are purely for improving your looks. Dental bridges are a perfect example of cosmetic dentistry serving a functional purpose.
If you lost a tooth in an accident or had a tooth removed, one of our Parkcrest Dental Group dentists in Springfield, MO, might recommend a dental bridge. Dentists construct dental bridges to fill the space left by your tooth. Formed from either porcelain, gold, or ceramics, they look, feel, and function in a similar way to your own teeth. Dental bridges traditionally come in three different forms: traditional bridges, Maryland bonded bridges, and cantilever bridges.
Traditional bridges span the gap in your teeth by connecting a dummy tooth (known as a pontic) between two crowns. Your dentist reduces the teeth to either side of the gap and makes impressions of these teeth. Then your dentist forms crowns perfectly fitted to your teeth. When you fit the crowns over your teeth, the false tooth slides snugly into the space where your tooth once was. You must remember to clean traditional bridges thoroughly to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
Though less common than traditional bridges, Maryland bridges work well but may not be as aesthetically pleasing. Your dentist attaches two metal wings to either side of the pontic. These wings slide behind the teeth to either side of the gap in your mouth, providing support to the pontic. Though not visible without a dental mirror, these metal wings sometimes cause a slight discoloration of the teeth they are affixed to. You do not need to have your teeth reduced for Maryland bridges.
Less common than either the traditional or Maryland bridges, cantilever bridges use two crowns side by side and a pontic on the end. Your dentist will reduce two teeth, much like the traditional bridge. These teeth, however, will be next to each other instead of on either side of the gap.
Most bridges will take two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, your Parkcrest Dental Group dentist will assess your teeth and decide on the type of bridge appropriate for your situation. If you need a cantilever bridge or a traditional bridge, your dentist will reduce the necessary teeth. Your dentist will make impressions of the teeth on your first visit, regardless of the type of dental bridge you will receive. Unless unforeseen issues arise (discomfort or delay in creating the crowns), your dentist will fit the bridge on your next visit.
Proper cosmetic dentistry does so much more than improve your appearance. It increases self-esteem, improves your dental health, and often improves your speech and bite. Your Parkcrest dentist in Springfield, MO, will fulfill all your cosmetic dentistry needs. If you believe you need a bridge, implants, or simply teeth whitening services, feel free to contact Parkcrest Dental Group today.