One or more missing teeth can adversely affect the appearance and functionality of your smile. Missing teeth can cause a change in occlusion (bite), shifting of the teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder, speech impediments, an increased risk for periodontal disease and a greater chance of tooth decay.
Dental bridges, like implants and partial dentures, are used to replace missing teeth.
Dental bridges serve an aesthetic purpose, allowing you to show off your beautiful smile without shame or fear that your missing tooth is what people will remember. They help your wallet, too, because dental bridges cost less than other methods of tooth replacement.
Unlike removable devices such as dentures, dental bridge work is cemented onto natural teeth or dental implants on either side of a missing tooth. These anchor teeth are called abutments. The replacement tooth -- called a pontic -- is attached to a dental crown on each abutment.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
During the first visit, we examine the health of your gums and other teeth to evaluate if you are a candidate for a dental bridge. If you are a candidate for a dental bridge, you are given a local anaesthetic so we can prepare the teeth required to support the bridge. If the support teeth are decayed or badly broken down, they may have to be build up before they can be used as support teeth for a bridge.
Next, an impression of the prepared teeth with a putty-like material is used to create a model of your teeth. Your bridge is fabricated based on this model by a skilled lab technician so that it precisely fits the prepared teeth. It is important that your restoration fit perfectly to avoid additional oral health problems such as tooth decay.
While your bridge is being fabricated, we provide you with a temporary bridge so the teeth and gums can be protected from damage until your permanent bridge is ready.
To complete the dental bridge procedure, you must return to the dental office for a second visit to have the bridge fitted and cemented.
A bridge can last more than 10 years, especially if you practice good oral hygiene. Remember: Dental bridge work requires healthy surrounding teeth and gums to stay in place. To keep your teeth healthy, brush twice a day and floss daily. Regular dental visits and dental cleanings are recommended twice a year.
If you have one or more missing teeth, a dental bridge procedure might be the right dental treatment for you.
Advantages of dental bridges:
Bridges are natural in appearance, and usually require only two visits to your dentist. If you maintain good oral hygiene, your fixed bridge should last as many as ten years or more.
Disadvantages of having a dental bridge:
It is common for your teeth to be mildly sensitive to extreme temperatures for a few weeks after the treatment. The build up of bacteria formed from food acids on your teeth and gums can become infected if proper oral hygiene is not followed.