A dental bridge can “bridge the gap” in your smile that exists because one or more of your teeth have gone missing. A bridge is made up of two crowns that fit on top of what we call abutment teeth, or anchoring teeth, with one or more false teeth in between. There are several types of bridges made out of different kinds of materials, so we can find the perfect bridge for your specific situation.
Reasons for "Bridging the Gap"
“Bridging the gap” of a missing tooth has several benefits:
- Missing teeth can slowly ruin the alignment of the teeth surrounding it – including the two adjacent teeth and any opposing teeth, but bridging as soon as possible will help ensure alignment
- A bridge can help fully restore your chewing ability
- The stress of an unstable bite from having missing teeth can cause headaches, bridges can remove that burden
- Bridges can look just as natural as regular teeth – you can get that smile back to how it once was
Types of Bridges
- Fixed bridge: These are anchored to crowns or cemented to abutments, or anchoring teeth. These bridges are more durable and can be maintained using a specialized flossing tool and proper hygiene
- Removable bridge: There are special circumstances where fixed bridges aren’t possible, most notably if there are no anchors for the bridge because the teeth adjacent to the gap are either missing or not strong enough to support a fixed bridge. In these cases your Roseville dentist can still prescribe a removable bridge that will work just the same, the only difference is that a removable bridge has to be cleaned once a day.
Types of Bridges
The same materials used for fillings and crowns can also be applied to bridges, which are essentially very similar to crowns. There are three different types of materials for bridges:
- Porcelain: Porcelain is the most natural-looking material, and because of advancements in ceramics this material has become much more durable and in some cases more durable than natural teeth.
- Metal: The most durable material that one could use for replacing or strengthening the integrity of a tooth while also being the cheapest of the three options. While these crowns look the least natural, they remain the strongest and long lasting.
- Porcelain fused to metal: A durable, long-lasting material that has the look and feel of natural teeth. The only downside to PFM is that the more of the structure of the abutment, or anchoring teeth will have to be removed for a proper fitting.
- The very first step is in preparing the abutment teeth (or anchoring teeth). These need to be shaped in order to fit the bridge – If those adjacent abutment teeth are decayed or broken, they will need to be repaired.
- A highly-accurate mold will be taken of the bridge area in order to ensure precision and proper fitting
- You will be given a temporary bridge while the permanent bridge is being fabricated, this will give your teeth and gums time to heal
- On a second visit any temporary bridge will be removed, and the permanent bridge will be fitted
- Your dentist will double-check to ensure that your spacing and bite are accurate and will be there answer any questions you may have
So if you’re missing any teeth, don’t lose hope! Getting a natural looking bridge to fill any gaps in your teeth is as easy as setting up an appointment at Sunrise Family Dentistry!