The teeth serve a variety of crucial functions: they are an important part of eating, digestion, and speaking. They also help in supporting facial structure. Missing teeth can ruin your smile and are known to contribute to poor oral health. One way to replace missing teeth and reverse the damage they may be causing is with bridge work.
Fixed dental bridges are custom-fit dental devices that allow one or more prosthetic teeth to fill gaps in the smile. Bridges are attached to the healthy adjacent teeth. If the neighboring teeth aren’t healthy enough to support the bridge work, dental implants may be an option.
A bridge serves many important functions. It will support the cheeks and lips, renewing proper facial shape. It can improve overall oral health, as it lowers the stress on gums and surrounding tissues. A bridge can also decrease the risk of gum disease, and improve the clarity of speech.
Installing a dental bridge is a two-part process. The teeth must first be prepared before having the bridge attached. At the first appointment, some enamel and dentin will be removed from the neighboring teeth. The dentist will make an impression of your teeth to ensure the bridge will fit precisely. The impression will be used by an experienced dental technician to create your custom bridge work. At the second appointment, the dentist will affix crowns to the teeth on both sides of the gap. Then the dental bridge will be permanently attached to those crowns.
A bridge is made of either gold or non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of materials. To achieve a natural, healthy-looking smile, porcelain is typically bonded to the outside of the metal. The bridge work is easy to care for; simply brush and floss as you would the natural teeth. It is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene, since the bridge needs the neighboring teeth to remain healthy and supportive.