All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in 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 dental bridge is used to replace missing teeth. Usually we need two anchor teeth, called abutments. The tooth that is missing is called pontic. In some cases, when the space is small and missing tooth is smaller, we can use just one anchor/abutment tooth (for example, canine can hold lateral incisor as a pontic, but not vice versa). The bridge gets cemented to abutment teeth, and so for that reason, they belong as fixed prosthetics.
Fixed bridges are cemented on the abutment teeth.
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, because they function and they are aesthetically pleasing, as natural, especially with all porcelain bridges and crowns materials such as Emax, Zirconia.
do I need a dental bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for having a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older.
Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders.
Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.
Missing teeth can cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
How is a dental bridge attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Vukovic will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Since the bridge is custom made for each individual patient, it must be made precisely to ensure correct bite and fit to match the nearby and opposing teeth. Impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be fabricated.
Fixed bridges are cemented to the natural teeth, filling the space left by the missing tooth/teeth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. The bridge is cemented onto the anchor/abutment teeth or tooth and those anchor/abutment teeth provide support for the bridge.
What materials are used for dental bridges?
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.
Comparison between all ceramic crown on the left, and porcelain fused to metal, on the right.
How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.