Your bite and chewing ability can easily be affected when you have missing teeth. And you may even feel embarrassed to smile. The good news is that a dental bridge may be a good option for replacing your missing teeth and restoring your smile
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a single unit that looks like individual teeth, designed to replace a missing tooth. Sometimes, bridges may replace more than one tooth at a time, which means the bridge would be longer. It’s essentially like having three dental crowns fused together to form one unit. On either end of the bridge is a dental crown designed to fit over the teeth residing on either side of the space in your mouth. And then, in the middle of the bridge is what is called a pontic or a fake tooth that fills the gap of the missing tooth. Once in place, it will look completely natural and as if you still have separate teeth.
Dental bridges can be made from porcelain-fused-to-metal materials, or they may be all porcelain, especially when replacing a missing tooth in the front of the mouth. Dental bridges can also be attached to dental implants if you do not have enough healthy teeth to stabilize the bridge.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
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Why is it important to replace missing teeth?
Teeth add a lot of value to our lives and health. Missing teeth can impact your speech, causing you to mispronounce words. And, it can be difficult to chew nutritious foods when you don’t have enough teeth, especially jaw teeth in the back. Maintaining your teeth or replacing them when one is extracted can help you maintain your facial shape so that your cheeks avoid that sunken-in look and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles around your lips. Therefore, it is essential to replace missing teeth to prevent these unfavorable health conditions and impacts on your lifestyle.
What’s it like getting a dental bridge?
The first step in getting a dental bridge is to remove the bad tooth if it isn’t already extracted. If you need an extraction first, the dentist may recommend allowing time for your gum to heal before moving forward with the bridge, but this may be decided on a case-by-case basis. Once the gum is healed and ready, or if you’ve had a missing tooth for a long time, the prep work for the bridge can begin.
Your mouth is numbed, and the dentist shapes and contours the two teeth that are on either side of the space. Then, we take impressions and digital x-rays that are used to make the bridge. Most likely, a dental lab will make your bridge, which means you will wear a temporary one for a couple of weeks. Once your permanent bridge is ready, you return to our office, and we will seat the bridge in place.