A dental bridge is a restoration containing one or more artificial teeth (pontics). The bridge is then placed in the mouth by attaching to crowns placed on your teeth on either side of the gap. The purpose of a dental bridge is to:
- Restore your full smile
- Improve your ability to chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Properly distribute the force in your bite
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
A dental bridge is fabricated by reducing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth by a preparation pattern determined by the location of the teeth and by the material from which the bridge is fabricated. In other words, the abutment teeth are reduced in size to accommodate the material to be used to restore the size and shape of the original teeth in a correct alignment and contact with the opposing teeth.
Once the teeth are prepared, an impression is taken and sent off to a lab for processing. The new bridge is usually sent back to the office within 1-2 weeks. To ensure protection and aesthetics, a temporary bridge is made in-office while the final bridge is being processed. Once returned, the temporary bridge is removed, and the final bridge is permanently cemented.
Not only does a bridge restore function and aesthetics, but it also prevents the surrounding teeth from drifting out of position and fill spaces that would otherwise leave surrounding teeth susceptible to tooth decay.
The best candidate for a dental bridge is a person with one or more missing teeth and good dental hygiene. Special attention to hygiene at home will need to be taken, especially flossing under the bridge. Furthermore, dental visits, including professional cleanings, should be completed every six months.
To find out if Dental Bridges are right for you, we invite you to contact our office.