We need our teeth for biting and chewing, but they also play a role in how we speak and how we look. When a tooth is lost it should be replaced in order to maintain proper form and function. There are several options for replacing teeth including bridges, implants and dentures. Failure to replace a tooth or teeth can lead to shifting of adjacent teeth, increased risk of gum disease, loss of support for your lips and cheeks, and/or loss of vertical height resulting in an older looking face.
Dental Bridge Options
A bridge replaces a missing tooth or teeth by attaching to healthy, natural teeth on both sides of the space. It may be attached with cement/bonding (fixed) or with metal clasps or precision attachments (removable). The fixed bridge provides more stability as it can only be removed by a dental professional, while the removable bridge can be put in and out by the patient for cleaning.
Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance
How is a bridge attached?
The bridge is attached by placing crowns (caps) onto the teeth adjacent to the space created by the missing tooth. These crowns are called abutments and they support an artificial tooth called a pontic. The procedure takes two to three visits. During the first visit, the adjacent teeth are prepared by removing some enamel and dentin in order to make space for the crown material. An impression is made and sent to a lab where the bridge will be fabricated using gold alloys, precious or non-precious alloys, porcelain, or some combination of these materials. You will leave the office with a temporary bridge. The permanent bridge may be cemented into place on the second visit, but sometimes additional visits are needed in order to get an excellent fit and bite.
How do I take care of my bridge?
We will review techniques and tools you can use to take care of your bridge. A bridge requires excellent homecare because the adjacent abutment teeth and gums must be kept clean and healthy in order to support the artificial tooth.