A dental bridge is a restoration that can replace one or a few missing teeth. A bridge is cemented into place by placing dental crowns on the two abutment teeth which are located next to the empty space. These teeth suspend a pontic tooth to fill the gap where the missing tooth was, restoring your smile as well as tooth structure and function.
Tooth loss can happen as a result of tooth decay, gum disease, or dental trauma, and results in bone loss and other consequences if the space is not filled. Contact us at Wallingford Dental Care today to schedule an appointment.
There are four different types of dental bridges.
First, you will need to come in for a consultation with Dr. Imahn Moin to rule out tooth decay and gum disease. X-rays may be taken to determine if you have sufficient jaw bone density to support a dental bridge.
To prepare the abutment teeth to receive dental crowns, we will need to remove a small amount of tooth enamel proportionate to the thickness of the crowns being placed.
After filing down the tooth structure, we will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab that will construct your dental bridge. We will place an immediate temporary bridge until your permanent one is ready.
Once we’ve received your custom bridge, you will return for another appointment so we can remove the temporary appliance and cement the permanent bridge into place.
First and foremost, a dental bridge is used to replace missing teeth in the mouth. The best candidate for a dental bridge is someone who is missing between 1-3 consecutive teeth. The bridge fills in the gap to restore a person’s smile as well as tooth function. By replacing missing teeth, the consequences of tooth loss can be mitigated.
It should be no surprise that it’s more difficult to chew with fewer teeth in your mouth. The uneven chewing forces can also cause jaw pain and may cause patients to have to restrict foods in their diet, especially hard, crunchy, and sticky foods. A dental bridge can restore your ability to eat whatever you want, and the durable dental crowns and pontics make chewing a breeze.
When you lose a tooth, it results in irreversible bone loss. The only way to prevent bone loss is to place a dental implant that stimulates the jaw bone by restoring the tooth’s root. Dental bridges can be held in place with dental implants instead of crowns placed on top of existing teeth.
However, even without dental implants, a dental bridge prevents issues that arise from bone loss, such as shifting teeth and a change in the alignment of your bite. The bridge fills in the space to stop teeth from moving and prevents orthodontic problems.
When teeth are missing, especially at the front of the mouth, there will be a noticeable gap in a person’s smile. This can cause self-consciousness and lower confidence which can carry over into other aspects of someone’s life. A person may be less likely to take pictures and can cause mental stress.
As previously mentioned, tooth loss causes bone loss, which can cause a whole host of problems. One of these issues is a change in the facial and jaw structure. As a result of bone loss, there is less support around the mouth, which can cause premature facial sagging. This can cause a person to look older than they are. The lack of support can also cause sinking of the lips and make it more difficult to speak clearly.
An alternative to a fixed dental bridge is a removable partial denture.