Dental bridges are common, affordable and low risk treatments for missing teeth. A dental bridge is a prosthetic device that’s used to fill a gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is mounted onto your existing teeth or implants and cemented into shape bridging the gap to create a full smile. Bridge work is the traditional way of replacing missing teeth. There are several varieties, depending on the site in your mouth, your bite and also the aesthetic and functional considerations.
A bridge will:
- Keep teeth from drifting into the space created by a missing tooth
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Help preserve normal function and a normal bite for the jaw joint
The process of getting a bridge
The most common type of bridge work involves applying crowns to the two teeth on either side of a gap, where teeth have been removed for one reason or another. This involves the joining of three crowns including a crown to fill the gap. Getting a bridge is a multi-step process and will often take two or more dentist visits as it is a lengthy process involving more than one tooth.
The dentist will reshape the teeth that the crowns will fit over by filing them down or filling them in to make them larger. These crowns need to fit securely in order to hold the bridge in place. The bridge is then cemented and permanently bonded in place, holding the new crowns in place and making it very secure, with the appearance of your natural teeth. This type of bridge is suitable in areas where teeth on either side of the gap have been filled and would benefit from the placement with crowns. However if the teeth beside the gap are unfilled it might be better to explore other options, such as implants, to avoid having to cut the otherwise perfect teeth.
Placing bridgework can have an impact on the health of the gums and bone due to the additional biting pressure, it could lead to gum and bone problems in the future.
Your permanent bridge is cared for like your permanent teeth. It should be cleaned properly in between the teeth and proper brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is important. Cleaning your bridge will help to reduce cavities and the development of inflammation of the gum tissue.
If you’re interested in learning more about dental bridges, please contact us today.