There are cosmetic and health reasons to replace missing teeth, whether they were lost from the front or back of your mouth. A dental bridge is one option. This procedure takes two appointments, in most cases. You can expect restored oral health, appearance, and function with a new dental bridge.
If you’ve lost one or more teeth, schedule your free consultation to see if a dental bridge is a good options for you.
Why You Need a Dental Bridge
It may surprise you to learn, the loss of just one tooth increases the chance of losing additional teeth. Experts believe one reason for this is that remaining teeth must work harder when chewing food, to compensate for that lost tooth. The extra stress damages teeth, potentially to the point of failure.
In addition, the space left by a lost tooth allows remaining teeth to naturally shift, or drift, into that spot. Again, this may be due to the body naturally trying to equally disperse the work of chewing. When teeth shift, two things happen.
- First, your bite changes. Bite, or occlusion, is the relationship between lower and upper teeth when you close your. An unbalanced bite can lead to many problems, including TMJ pain.
- Second, the space between teeth changes, which may alter the appearance of your smile.
Structure of a Dental Bridges
A bridge is a dental prosthetic that replaces one or two, and sometimes even three, lost teeth — but the missing teeth must be in a row if more than one is gone. Bridges are made in a dental lab by technicians or ceramists. They feature two crowns that attach to healthy teeth on either side of the place where one to three teeth have been lost. Pontics, or replacement teeth, are connected between the crowns.
Steps to Expect when Getting a Bridge
- Exam and consultation: Our dentist will examine your oral health, take x-rays if necessary, and discuss tooth replacement options with you.
- If you choose to get a bridge, impressions will be made of your mouth. It’s important that the lab ceramist sees not only the space and surrounding teeth, but also the opposing teeth on the opposite arch.
- You may wear a flapper in the space, until your bridge is constructed.
- Between your two dental appointments, a ceramist will fabricate your custom-made bridge at the lab. Using your records and your dentists written specifications, the ceramist can design a bridge to fit snugly and blend with the color of neighboring teeth.
- You’ll return to our office for placement of your bridge. Your dentist will cement the new prosthetic in place, and it will fit, feel, and look like natural teeth.
Once a dental bridge is cemented in place, it is not removable. We call this “fixed.” Unlike removable partials and dentures, bridges require no special care. Simply attend your checkups and brush your teeth twice a day.