All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. If you do lose teeth, it is best to have them replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. There are options for replacing missing teeth including dental bridges.
Dental Bridge Options
A dental bridge is a device used to replace missing teeth. It made up of two crowns – one on either side of the missing tooth and a false tooth in between them called a pontic. The teeth that the crowns are permanently attached to are called abutment teeth. The abutment teeth can be either natural teeth or implants.
Fixed bridges are applied by placing crowns on the abutment teeth and attaching an artificial tooth.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.
What exactly is a dental bridge or fixed partial denture?
A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device which fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional.
Why do I need a dental bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a tooth may cause these areas to sink in and cause a more aged appearance.
Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of complications.
Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.
Missing teeth can cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
How is a dental bridge attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two appointments to complete. At the first appointment, Dr. Holloway will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of tooth structure to make room for the crowns.
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 dental lab where the bridge will be constructed.
Fixed bridges are 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 gold, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.
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.