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 should be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.
Dental Bridge Options
A dental bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are permanently attached and are not removed.
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.
Why 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, prevents other teeth from shifting, and aids in chewing
Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. When a tooth is lost, the neighboring teeth take on an increased stress to help carry the load of the missing tooth. This increased stress can lead to tooth discomfort and even tooth fractures
How is a dental bridge attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Seim or Dr. Wallace will prepare the teeth on both sides of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.
Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Dental crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
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.