All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing, and maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose teeth, they should be replaced for continued proper function of your mouth.
Why Do I Need a Bridge?
Proper function and appearance are important reasons for having a bridge. If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health.
Your teeth were designed to complement each other for many daily functions, from eating to speaking. When you lack teeth, it is difficult to perform these simple functions. Additionally, increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a well-designed bridge.
Missing teeth can and should be replaced. A bridge is one of several options for restoring your dental health.
What Exactly Is a Bridge or Fixed Partial Denture?
A bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches replacement teeth to adjacent natural teeth called abutments.
This process includes a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns (abutments) to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge.
This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts.
What Materials Are Used?
Bridges can be constructed from porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to gold. These materials make a durable replacement for your missing teeth, so you can enjoy your restored smile for years to come.
How Is a Bridge Attached?
The process of making a bridge usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, the doctors will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap where the tooth is missing. This is done by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Because the bridge must be fabricated precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing teeth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.
Upon completion, fixed bridges are cemented to the natural teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, are called abutments and provide support for the bridge.
How Do I Take Care of My Bridge?
A strict regiment of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge clean as well as your surrounding teeth. This is of critical importance because the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.
You should also keep up on your regular dental appointments. This helps you keep your teeth healthy and track any developing dental issues.
Bridge the Gap at Stones Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
If you are ready to fill in the gap in your smile with a dental bridge, we are ready to help you restore your smile. Contact Stones Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, your local Salem dentist, to make an appointment today!