How a Dental Bridge Works
A dental bridge literally bridges the gap left behind by a missing tooth. The bridge is formed by placing a crown on each of the teeth that are adjacent to the gap. These teeth are called abutment teeth, and they serve as stable structures that help hold the bridge in place. In between these teeth is a false tooth, called a pontic, that is created to match the others so that the bridge is virtually undetectable when you smile.
Benefits of a Bridge
Bridges help to fill in the gap from a missing tooth that may cause you to feel embarrassed when you smile or discomfort as you eat. It is also important to fill in this gap to prevent your other teeth from shifting around. Bridges are also ideal when the teeth next to the gap also have severe decay or a fracture that requires a restoration anyway since the crowns provide extra strength. Since bone mass in the jaw and gum tissue can be lost over time after a tooth is lost, the bridge helps to prevent this from occurring since it stimulates the oral tissues much like natural teeth do. This helps you to preserve your facial shape and jaw bone so that you are better able to retain your other teeth. Check out all of our cosmetic dental procedures.
What to Expect During a Bridge Placement
If you have one or two missing teeth, then you are a likely candidate for a dental bridge. However, your first step toward getting one is to schedule a consultation with your dentist to make sure this is your best option. Once you decide to get a dental bridge, you will get it placed in a couple of visits. During the first visit, the abutment teeth are prepared by placing crowns on them. Then, impressions are taken of your mouth that are used by the dental professionals to create a middle tooth that matches the size, shape and color necessary to create a beautiful tooth replacement. Depending upon your needs, you may have a temporary bridge placed to help you stay comfortable while you wait for the main one to be created. At your second appointment, the permanent bridge is placed and you will be shown how to brush and floss with it in your mouth.
Dental bridges are an effective way to replace missing teeth, and you are a likely candidate anytime you have one or more gaps in your mouth that need to be filled in. Now that you understand more about how a dental bridge works and when it is necessary, you can feel confident proceeding with the next steps to get this important corrective treatment.