A bridge is also known as a fixed partial denture. It is designed to fill a gap from absent teeth. In order to be able to eat and speak properly, as well as to preserve your mouth function and appearance as defined by the structure of your gums, lips and cheeks, it is essential that your missing teeth be promptly replaced. Bridge placement will prevent the damage associated with the unusual stresses placed on your gums due to missing teeth.
Bridges are made of porcelain, gold alloys, or non-precious alloys. These three materials can also be combined in the construction of a dental bridge. The porcelain is color-adjustable to match the natural color of your teeth.
There are permanent (fixed) and removable bridges. Fixed bridges provide more stability and can only be removed by a dentist. The way a bridge works is by attaching it to adjacent natural healthy teeth. To place a fixed bridge, your dentist will either bind the artificial teeth to the existing teeth, or simply place crowns on your existing teeth to hold the bridge.
Precision attachments and metal clasps are used for the placement of removable bridges. Ask your dentist which type of a bridge restoration is the best fit for your particular situation.
Bridge Attachment Procedure
You will need two or three appointments to complete the bridge attachment process. Your dentist will remove small portions of dentin (tooth tissue) and tooth enamel from the teeth on each side of the gap, to prepare these teeth for the bridge attachment.
It is important that your dentist produce a bridge that precisely matches your opposing teeth and bite. To accomplish this, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which he or she will then send to the dental lab technician who in turn will fabricate your new bridge.
Once your bridge is ready, your dentist will apply it to the prepared teeth. A fixed bridge is usually cemented to natural teeth, next to the gap. False teeth, also called pontics, are used to replace lost teeth if necessary. Support for the new bridge is ensured by the crown applied to the natural teeth.
Dental Bridge Aftercare
Oral hygiene is still very important once your dental bridge is in place. Flossing and toothbrushing every day will ensure that the bridge and natural teeth remain clean and healthy. Remember, you need to keep your remaining natural teeth in great condition to support your bridge!
Continue scheduling dental appointments as recommended by your dentist.