All of 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 must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.
Dental Bridge Options
A dental bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges), or they can be removable.
Fixed Bridge: A single-unit restoration permanently affixed within the mouth by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth.
Removable Bridge: Usually in the form of a uni-lateral or bi-lateral partial denture the removable bridge maintains retention with adjacent teeth with clasps or by precision attachments.
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.
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 back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older.
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 potentially harmful disorders.
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.
What is the process?
The restorative process usually takes two appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Jamison 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 our lab where the bridge will be designed and created. Upon your return for the second appointment, the fixed bridge will be custom fit to accommodate all functional and aesthetic parameters of your individual case. Once all criteria have been met the bridge will be permanently cemented to the previously prepared, natural teeth on either side to the space left by the missing tooth yielding a beautiful and functional restoration and no more open spaces of a missing tooth.
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.