The replacement of missing teeth is very important. Not only does this improve esthetics and function, but also it prevents the neighboring teeth from shifting into the missing space. If teeth begin to shift, this can affect the function of your teeth making chewing difficult, changing your bite, and affecting your muscles and joint. While this process can be slow, the end result can be more catastrophic, than you think.
Dental bridges are used to “bridge the gap” to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A bridge is made up of one or more teeth on either side of a gap, these teeth being used as anchoring teeth called abutments, and a fake tooth or teeth in the middle, called a pontic. The bridge can be made of many different materials, such as porcelain, metal, or gold. The end result is a natural looking replacement for a missing tooth that is fixed into your smile.
At D’Amico and Mauck, your doctor will take into account your goals and desires for your missing teeth, creating a treatment plan that is right for you. While implants are now a mainstay for the replacement of missing teeth, some people cannot undergo surgery or do not want to wait for the implant to heal. Others do not want a removable dental appliance, such as a flipper, that they have to take in and out. In these cases, for example, a dental bridge is a great option, providing fast treatment that is fixed onto the teeth.
During your first visit, the abutment teeth are prepared for the bridge. This involves recontouring and the tooth by removing a portion of the enamel to allow the bridge to be placed over them. After an impression for the lab to make the bridge, a temporary is placed over the prepared teeth with a pontic tooth filling the missing area. During the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the final bridge is cemented into place. This provides improved chewing and speaking ability, as well as improved esthetics and function.
If you have questions about the replacement of your missing teeth or think dental bridges are right for you, don’t forget to ask Dr. Mauck or Dr. Ricci about your options today!