Are you concerned about having a missing tooth? Missing a tooth can change the shape of your face, the neighboring teeth can shift into that gap, the tooth in the opposite arch may over-erupt into the gap, lead to malocclusion and many other oral health issues.
In addition, replacing a missing tooth may prevent gum disease, tooth decay, provide a successful aesthetic and functional outcome, creating a harmonious and fully functioning bite. One of the options that you can choose to replace that missing tooth is a dental bridge.
Think about the dental bridge as a bridge; it has two components: the two abutments and the pontic. The abutment is generally a crown on the teeth on either side of the gap. The pontic is a false tooth to replace the missing tooth.
Bridges usually are made from porcelain like zirconia, porcelain fused to metal, or a full metallic crown made of noble metals like gold. Porcelain crowns are matched with your natural teeth shade to look like your real teeth.
There are three types of bridges: traditional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges, and Maryland bonded bridges; depending on your situation, your dentist will offer the most suitable one for your case.
- restore the look and function of your teeth,
- prevent surrounding teeth from drifting
- correct your speech and pronunciation
- distribute the force properly when you chew
- maintain the shape of your face
Tooth bridge procedures usually happen in 2 or more appointments.
On the first visit, you will be numbed up with a local anesthetic so you can feel comfortable. Then your tooth will be cleaned; any decay is cleared and shaped for the teeth that support the bridge. Next, the dentist will take an impression or scan the teeth. These impressions or scans will be sent to the lab, where they will custom make your bridge to fit precisely to your teeth and bite.
It takes 1 to 2 weeks for your bridge to be made. Meanwhile, a temporary bridge will be placed while you wait to protect your teeth and gum.
On the second appointment, we remove the temporary and try the new bridge. If everything is perfect, we will cement the bridge in place, check the bite to your comfort. In the end, we will polish the bridge.
Your dental bridge is supported entirely by adjacent teeth. Make sure to keep your oral hygiene standard to maintain healthy teeth and gum:
- brush at least twice a day
- floss daily
- regular check-ups and clean with your dentist
- clean underneath the bridge
- a balanced diet is also essential