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 health and function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.
A dental bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches replacement teeth to adjacent natural teeth and fills the gap where teeth are absent. They are made to look natural and are bonded in place and not removable, except by a dentist.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, are likely aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking and smiling. 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?
Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to work together and complement each other. When teeth are lost, a domino effect of other changes can occur in our mouth, including shifting of other teeth in the area and changes in bite relationships. Shifting teeth can be more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. Missing teeth can limit our chewing function and affect our ability to get adequate nutrition.
Missing teeth can cause speech problems as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
Perhaps the worst effect of missing teeth is that people can become self-conscious of their appearance and avoid smiling, laughing and social interaction due to their fear of other people judging their appearance. Replacement of missing teeth often gives people the confidence to speak, laugh, smile and enjoy social occasions with friends and family again.
How is a dental bridge created?
A dental bridge may take one or two appointments, depending on the materials used and when the missing teeth are lost. At the first appointment Dr. Watts will shape the adjacent teeth for Dental crowns
in preparation for the bridge. The bridge may be made and placed the same day using Cerec technology. If time is needed for healing of bone or gum tissues due to recent removal of teeth, a temporary bridge that looks and feels natural will be made for the healing phase and the permanent bridge bonded once healing is complete.
What materials are used for dental bridges?
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, dental ceramics, or a combination of these materials. We make sure bridges look natural and blend in with the surrounding teeth.
How do I take care of my bridge?
Regular 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. We’ll review and recommend some products specially designed for the care of bridges.