What are Dental Bridges?
Dental Bridges are a series of dental crowns which are attached to each other. A dental bridge may be required if a patient is missing a tooth or missing several teeth. The reason it is called a bridge is that it bridges the open space created by the missing tooth or teeth. It is important to fill the space created by missing teeth because not doing so may cause the teeth to move into the open space¸ altering the patient´s bite which can result in soreness of the jaw and possibly damage to opposing teeth.
It is also harder to properly care for teeth when they have shifted which can lead to gum disease or tooth decay. The esthetics of the patient´s smile can also be improved by filling the space created by missing teeth. Most bridges can be produced to match the color and shade of existing teeth so they will appear natural and will blend in with the surrounding teeth. A bridge is anchored in place by cementing it to the adjacent teeth and once cemented, it is permanent and can provide years of effective service. Keeping your gums healthy by practicing good oral hygiene¸ daily brushing and flossing¸ will help ensure the longevity of the dental bridge. Since the bridge teeth are connected¸ you will not be able to floss between them¸ but can floss under the bridge. Ask your dentist for recommendations on care such as special floss developed for dental bridges.
You will receive a mild anesthetic to numb the area and your dentist will prepare the teeth surrounding the open space. If these teeth already have fillings, part of the filling may be left in place to provide a solid foundation for the crown.
An impression is made and from this model a dental lab will create the bridge, false tooth and crowns. You will wear a temporary bridge in the mean until you return for your second appointment. Your new bridge will be fitted and adjusted before being cemented to your teeth.
Dental bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. They require your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but will last as many ten years or more.