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 must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.
A bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached 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.
Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. However, oral functionality and appearance are other important reasons for a dental bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and other facial muscles. The loss of one or more teeth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older. Increased risk of gum disease has also proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a dental bridge. Missing teeth can also cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
The procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, We will prepare the teeth on either side of the missing teeth by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to the lab where the bridge will be constructed to exacting standards and color accuracy.
Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A replacement tooth is fabricated to take the place of the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, zirconia or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either a precious or non-precious metal.
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance since the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.