Not only does every single tooth make a difference when speaking and chewing food, all of your teeth play a critical role in maintaining proper tooth alignment. Losing your teeth doesn’t have to occur as you age, however, if you do happen to lose a tooth, replacing them is critical to maintain proper function of your mouth. Luckily, there are options for correcting the loss of a tooth.
A bridge is a device which is used to replace missing teeth. A bridge will attach artificial teeth to adjacent teeth. These bridged teeth are called abutment teeth and can be permanently attached, or removable.
The fixed bridges (permanently attached) can be applied to the abutment teeth by placing crowns on them, or by a bonding material attached from the artificial teeth to the abutment teeth.
Removable bridges can also be used by attaching a metal clasp (or other precision attachments) to the teeth.
Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and physical appearance. If you’re missing teeth, you might already be aware of the significance of this towards many daily functions such as eating, or conversing with others. With missing teeth, these routine activities can become difficult, or embarrassing. This is why missing teeth should always be replaced.
What is a bridge or fixed partial denture?
A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is the device which fills the space where teeth are absent. A fixed bridge can only be removed by a dental professional as they are bonded into place. There is also the option of removable bridges which can be taken out for cleaning. With that being said, fixed bridges offer more stability.
Why are bridges important?
The most important aspect of getting a bridge is your own dental health. Your teeth were designed to work together and complement each other. With missing teeth, harmful disorders might emerge as stress can be placed on the gums and oral tissues. If you lose a back tooth, your mouth can potentially sink and as a result, make your face look older.
Gum disease is also a negative effect of missing teeth. A bridge will help combat the increased risk of gum disease.
On top of the physical issues that come with missing teeth, other disorders can form. Speech disorders can develop as we require our teeth to make certain noises when communicating.
How are bridges attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment our doctors will prepare 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, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.
The bridging procedure will generally take two or three appointments. The first appointment will involve our doctors preparing the adjacent teeth to the gap by removing a small portion of the enamel and dentin. Impressions of the teeth are taken in order to resemble the correct bite and placement to match the opposing tooth. After the impressions are taken, they will be sent to a lab where they will be constructed with precision.
Fixed bridges are cemented to the natural teeth adjacent to the space from the missing tooth. A fake tooth, known as a pontic, will be placed in the gap. Crowns are also placed on the adjacent natural teeth to help form support for the bridge.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be constructed from a variety of materials such as gold alloy, porcelain, non-precious alloys. A combination of these materials can also be constructed. Often, porcelain bridges are bonded to precious or non-precious metals.
Taking care of your bridge
To keep your bridge smooth and clean, you should follow a strict routine of brushing and flossing. This is extremely important because your bridge relies on your natural teeth for support, so keeping them clean is crucial.