Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth. Your existing teeth are used to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing. Bridges are made from gold, metal, alloys, or porcelain to ensure that they are strong and durable.
The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments out of your existing teeth where the bridge will be attached. The existing teeth are recontoured to provide a base for the bridge. After the abutments have been created, a mold is taken of the area which is sent to a dental lab. The lab is able to use the mold to create a bridge that will fit properly and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. The bridge consists of two crowns on either end to place on the abutments and a pontic, which is the new tooth that replaces your missing tooth.
We will fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. This will protect the abutments and the exposed gum areas and look more appealing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow up visit to set the bridge. It will be placed on the abutments and the dentist will then use an adhesive to make sure that the bridge is set.
The bridge may take a little while to get used to, but after a few days it should feel like you have your own teeth back again. You should eat soft foods for the first few days after having your bridge placed. After the initial phase, you will be able to eat whatever you want with no issues.
If you are missing a tooth you should strongly consider having it replaced. Besides the aesthetic disadvantage of missing a tooth, it could also cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly. Set up an appointment today to restore your smile.
............Some Questions That You May Have..;
What is a Bridge ?
A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby "bridging" the space between two teeth. Fixed bridges are cemented into place next to "abutment" teeth- the surrounding teeth on either side of the space or "span." Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient.
A fixed bridge is a device that typically consists of three units- a pontic (a false tooth) fused between two crowns (see diagram) that are cemented to abutment teeth.
Do I need a bridge ?
If you are missing any teeth and are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you may be a good candidate for a bridge. A bridge is the most natural choice to fill the space in your mouth left by missing teeth. This space can cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Fixed bridges not only correct an altered bite, improve your chewing ability and speech, but they also safeguard your appearance by preventing the collapse of your facial features that can cause premature wrinkles and age lines.
What types of bridges are there ?
Besides traditional bridges, another popular design is the resin bonded or "Maryland" bridge, primarily used for the front teeth. This is usually the most economical choice when the abutment teeth are health and don't contain large fillings. The pontic is fused to metal bands that can be bonded to the abutment teeth with a resin cement and hidden from view, reducing the amount of preparation o the adjacent teeth.
A cantilever bridge may be used if there are teeth on only one side of the span. This involves anchoring the pontic to one side over one or more natural adjacent teeth. If there are no adjacent teeth to act as anchors, your dentist may recommend an implant- a metal post that is surgically imbedded into the bone and capped with a crown as an abutment.
In some cases where the span is large, your dentist may recommend a removable partial denture or even an implant-supported prosthesis.
What procedures are involved ?
For a traditional fixed bridge, the first appointment consists of the dentist reducing the adjacent abutment teeth that will act as anchors. Impressions are made from which a metal framework including the pontic, is created. By the second appointment, the final bridge is fitted over the teeth.
The total treatment time is usually between two and four weeks, depending upon the type of bridge. However, because it is often difficult to match the natural shade of your teeth, the treatment time may be longer.
How do I care for a bridge ?
With a bridge, it is more important than ever to brush, floss and see your dentist regularly. If you do not control the buildup of food debris and plaque- the sticky film of bacteria formed from acids in foods- your teeth and gums can become infected, requiring further treatment and resulting in possible loss of the bridge. Your dentist may also recommend using floss threaders that help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the bridge and adjacent teeth and gums.