The Importance of Temporary Dental Bridges: What You Need to Know

BY: Dr. Sandeep Sharma
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Clear Choice Dental Yokine

The Importance of Temporary Dental Bridges: What You Need to Know

Starting a conversation about dental health can be daunting. Feeling apprehensive is natural, especially if you’ve recently lost a tooth. However, you can be confident that options are available to restore your dental health and confidence. One of these options is a dental bridge, which can help fill in the gap left by a missing tooth.

But before you jump into the procedure, it’s important to understand the temporary dental bridges’ role. Temporary dental bridges are a crucial part of the dental bridge procedure, and understanding their benefits and how to care for them is essential for the success of your dental bridge.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about temporary dental bridges and their importance in the dental bridge procedure.

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Summary of the Content

  • Dental bridges are a common replacement option for missing teeth, and temporary dental bridges play a crucial role in the dental bridge procedure.

  • Temporary dental bridges are short-term prostheses that serve as placeholders until the final dental bridge is ready to be placed.

  • Temporary bridges protect the prepared teeth, prevent teeth from shifting, and maintain oral function during the waiting period.

  • There are different types of temporary dental bridges, including acrylic temporary bridges and composite resin bridges, and your dentist will recommend the most suitable one for your unique situation.

  • Proper care and maintenance of your temporary dental bridge are essential for its longevity and success.

  • The timing to transition from a temporary to the final dental bridge will depend on the success of the temporary bridge, the health of your teeth and gums, and your overall dental health goals.

What Is a Temporary Dental Bridge?

Before discussing temporary dental bridges’ importance, let’s define what they are. A temporary dental bridge is a short-term type of bridge used during the dental bridge procedure. It serves as a placeholder until the final dental bridge is ready to be placed.

Defining a temporary dental bridge

Temporary dental bridges or provisional teeth bridges are usually made of acrylic, and they are less durable than final dental bridges. However, they are a necessary part of the dental bridge procedure and serve an important purpose.

The purpose of a temporary dental bridge

Now that we know what a temporary dental bridge is, let’s talk about why it’s so important. The dental bridge procedure involves an initial tooth preparation where the adjacent teeth are prepared to support a false tooth (pontic). This means the teeth on either side of the gap are trimmed and reshaped to accommodate the bridge.

The temporary dental bridge serves as protection for these teeth, while the final dental bridge is fabricated in the dental laboratory. Additionally, the temporary bridge helps maintain the shape of your mouth and prevents any shifting of your natural teeth as you wait for your final dental bridge.

Here are some additional benefits of temporary teeth bridges:

  • They help prevent sensitive teeth.
  • They allow you to eat soft foods during the waiting period.
  • They help prevent tooth decay and gum disease in the prepared teeth.
  • They maintain proper spacing and alignment of your natural teeth.
  • They provide a natural-looking tooth replacement until the final bridge is ready.

Take note that not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental bridge treatment. Your dentist must assess your oral health and determine if a dental bridge is ideal.

Types of Temporary Dental Bridges

Here are the most common dental bridge types:

Traditional Dental Bridges

  • This type of bridge involves creating a custom-made false tooth or pontic anchored to adjacent teeth with the use of dental crowns.
  • Traditional dental bridges are suitable for patients with healthy teeth adjacent to the gap.
  • The abutment teeth must be prepared and reduced in size to fit the custom-made crowns, which will hold the pontic in place.

Cantilever Dental Bridges

  • This is similar to the traditional bridge but only requires one abutment tooth for support.
  • Cantilever bridges are less common because they can place too much pressure on the supporting tooth and cause damage over time.

Maryland Dental Bridges

  • Also known as resin-bonded bridges, these bridges use a metal or porcelain framework to anchor the pontic to the back surface of adjacent teeth.
  • Maryland bridges are less invasive than traditional bridges, as they require less preparation of the adjacent teeth.
  • This type of bridge is not as reliable and durable as traditional bridges and must be replaced more frequently.

Implant-Supported Dental Bridges

  • This type of bridge involves surgically placing dental implants into the jawbone to support the pontic.
  • Implant-supported bridges are the most stable and durable type of bridge, and they can help prevent jawbone shrinkage or resorption.
  • Implant-supported bridges are more invasive and require a longer healing time than other types of bridges.

Types of Temporary Dental Bridges

Temporary bridges, also known as provisional bridges, are temporary restorations used to fill the gap created by a missing tooth or teeth until a final dental bridge can be placed. They are typically made of acrylic or composite materials.

Acrylic Temporary Bridges:

Acrylic temporary bridges are commonly used due to their ease of fabrication and adjustability. They are made from an acrylic material that mimics the appearance of natural teeth. Acrylic temporary bridges are relatively inexpensive and can be easily modified or repaired if necessary.

Composite Temporary Bridges:

Composite temporary bridges are made using tooth-coloured composite resin materials. The resin is shaped and moulded directly in the patient’s mouth to create a temporary bridge. Composite temporary bridges are often used in cases where esthetics are a concern because they can be colour-matched to adjacent teeth. However, they may not be as durable as acrylic temporary bridges and may require more frequent adjustments or repairs.

The Importance of Temporary Dental Bridges

Temporary dental bridges play a critical role in the dental bridge procedure, and their importance cannot be overstated.

  • Maintaining oral function
    Missing teeth can impact your ability to speak and chew properly. Temporary dental bridges help maintain oral function and allow you to eat and speak as you normally would while the final dental bridge is being prepared.

  • Protecting the prepared teeth
    The dental bridge procedure involves preparing the adjacent teeth, called abutments, to support the false tooth. The temporary dental bridge helps protect these abutment teeth to prevent sensitivity and fracture.

  • Preventing misalignment and teeth shifting
    When a tooth is lost, neighbouring teeth can shift out of place, causing misalignment and other issues. The temporary dental bridge helps prevent this and maintains your natural teeth’ proper spacing and alignment.

The Procedure for Placing a Temporary Dental Bridge

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of temporary dental bridges, let’s look at the procedure for placing one. The process involves several steps, including:

  1. Initial consultation and treatment planning
    Your dentist will assess your oral health and determine if you’re an ideal candidate for a dental bridge. They will discuss the treatment options and help you choose the most suitable one. Once the decision is made, the dentist will create a treatment plan.

  2. Preparing the teeth and taking impressions
    The teeth on either side of the gap where the missing tooth is located must be prepared. This involves reshaping the teeth or trimming some of the tooth structure to accommodate the bridge. Once the teeth are prepared, impressions will be taken, which will be used to create temporary bridges as well as final dental bridges.

  3. Fitting the temporary dental bridge
    The temporary dental bridge will be created and attached to your teeth using temporary cement before you leave the clinic. The bridge will be adjusted to achieve a comfortable fit and proper alignment. You will be instructed on how to care for the temporary bridge until your final bridge is ready.

It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for caring for your temporary dental bridge, including proper oral hygiene routine and attending any necessary dental appointments. The temporary bridge is a crucial part of the dental bridge procedure, and its success is essential for the overall success of the treatment.

Caring for Your Temporary Dental Bridge

Proper care and maintenance of your temporary dental bridge are vital for its longevity and success.

The expected lifespan of a temporary dental bridge

A temporary dental bridge is designed to be a short-term treatment while the final dental bridge is being prepared. Generally, the expected lifespan of a temporary dental bridge is about six months. However, with proper oral hygiene habits and maintenance, it can last longer.

Essential maintenance tips for temporary dental bridges

  • Have good dental hygiene practices, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
  • Be gentle when brushing around the temporary bridge to avoid dislodging it.
  • Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can get stuck in the bridge.
  • Schedule regular checkups to monitor your bridge and the health of your surrounding teeth.
  • If the bridge feels loose or uncomfortable, contact your dentist immediately.

Proper care of your temporary dental bridge prevents damage and facilitates a smooth treatment process. Your dentist will provide you with post-operative care instructions.

Moving from a Temporary to a Permanent Dental Bridge

If you’ve been wearing a temporary dental bridge, you may be wondering when it’s time to transition to your final dental bridge. In this section, we’ll discuss knowing when to make the switch and the process of placing the final dental bridge.

Knowing when to transition to a permanent bridge

Your dentist will advise you on when it’s appropriate to transition from a temporary to the final dental bridge. Factors that will determine this include the health of your teeth and gum tissues and the status of the final dental bridge. 

The process of placing a final dental bridge

  • Your dentist will check your temporary bridge, abutment teeth, and gums.
  • They will remove the temporary bridge and clean the teeth and surrounding gum tissue if necessary.
  • The final dental bridge will be fitted on the abutment teeth and adjusted to achieve proper bite.
  • Dental cement will be used to secure the final dental bridge in place.

Final Thoughts

When you lose a tooth, it can be challenging to chew, speak and feel confident in your smile. Fortunately, dental bridges provide a reliable replacement to fill in the gap. However, temporary dental bridges are an essential part of the dental bridge procedure that you should not overlook.

Temporary dental bridges serve as placeholders while you wait for the final one. This short-term treatment allows you to maintain proper oral function, protect the prepared teeth, and prevent teeth from shifting out of place. During the healing time, temporary bridges also help prevent tooth decay and gum disease and maintain the proper spacing and alignment of your natural teeth.

Different types of temporary dental bridges exist. Your dentist will recommend the most suitable one based on your unique situation. It’s crucial to care for your temporary dental bridge properly.

Once your temporary dental bridge is in place, your dentist will guide you through the process of transitioning to the final dental bridge. Factors such as the status of the final dental bridge, the health of your teeth and gums, and overall dental health goals will determine when it’s appropriate to make the switch.

At Clear Choice Dental, our team of dental professionals understands the importance of temporary dental bridges in maintaining a healthy smile. We are committed to providing high-quality dental services tailored to your needs and goals. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you achieve optimal dental health.

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