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 and one option is to have a Dental Bridge.
Dental Bridge Options
A bridge – a restoration 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 bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal 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 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. Missing teeth can cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be constructed from porcelain, zirconia, precious metals or a combination of the three.
Bridgework is similar to dental crown placement. Again, two visits are required. The first appointment involves removing leftover enamel, making room for the bridge. Your dentist will also go through a thorough so a personalized bridge can be constructed. The second visit entails the placement of the newly made bridge, cemented it into place. Essentially, this procedure “bridges the gap” in a patient’s mouth. If you are receiving bridgework, expect to leave with a brand new, complete grin.
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.