Your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose teeth they can be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are many options for correcting tooth loss.
Dental Bridge Options
A dental bridge — one option used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are permanently cemented, or fixed in place.
Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance, function, and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it can be difficult to do these things. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.
Why do I need a dental bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for having a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older. Teeth were designed to complement each other.Missing teeth can cause a number of unusual stresses on other teeth which may contribute to remaining teeth shifting, and breaking.
Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized when missing teeth are replaced.
How is a dental bridge attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Popple will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be fabricated.
Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Dental crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
What materials are used for dental bridges?
Bridges can be constructed from various materials including gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is sometimes bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.
How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support. Special flossing techniques and instructions on how to clean around your bridge will be demonstrated to you when your bridge is cemented in place.