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.
A bridge is a device which fills the gap where teeth are absent by attaching an artificial tooth in between two natural teeth. Bridges are permanently attached by cement or bonding. Fixed bridges are more secure than a removable bridge.
Removable bridges are attached to the existing teeth by metal or flexible tooth colored clasps and are better know as partials.
If you are 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, its 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. Bridges can be constructed from porcelain, gold alloys or a combination of these materials.
What is the procedure for a bridge?
The procedure usually takes two appointments to complete. At the first appointment the will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin and any old restorations or decay. Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken to send to a dental laboratory. Temporary bridge or crowns will be placed.
At the secondary appointment the bridge will be placed with a cement or bonded to the teeth.
How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing underneath the bridge will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.