All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing, and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss does not 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 more options today than ever for tooth replacement.
What is a bridge?
A bridge or fixed partial denture (FPD) is a prosthesis used to replace a missing tooth or teeth that is securely cemented to the teeth next to the empty space. It cannot be removed by the patient.
Why do I need a bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons to have a bridge fabricated. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your cheeks to sink in and your face to look older. Teeth are meant to complement one another and work together to perform daily functions like eating, speaking and smiling. With teeth missing, it is difficult to do these things.
Unusual stresses are placed on the other teeth and gums when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful conditions. When a tooth is missing the adjacent and opposing teeth can start to shift or move which leads to a more complex dental issue involving your bite. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.
What is the process?
The procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, Dr. Goldin, Dr. Abjanich or Dr. Donovan will prepare (shape) the teeth on either side 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, digital impressions of the teeth are made and sent to our lab where the bridge will be constructed.
That day you will leave our office with a temporary bridge cemented in place. A few weeks later, the final bridge will be tried in, adjustments made if necessary and cemented.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloy or zirconia (a high-strength ceramic). Porcelain is often veneered on top of these materials to give it natural beauty or cosmetics.
How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. It is also important to thread floss or use a proxy brush to clean underneath the bridge. This is critical as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support. Don’t hesitate to ask our friendly staff about home-care and maintenance.