What Is a Bridge?
A bridge is a dental
restoration that fills the space where one or more teeth
are missing. The bridge restores your bite and
helps keep the natural shape of your face.
Why Do I Need A Bridge?
A missing tooth is a
serious matter. Teeth are made to work together.
When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth may tilt or
drift into the empty space. The teeth in the
opposite jaw may also shift up or down toward the space.
This can affect your bite and place more stress on your
teeth and jaw joints, possibly causing pain.
Teeth that have tipped or
drifted are also harder to clean. This puts them
at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
When a tooth is missing,
the bone may shrink. If that happens, it may
change the way the jawbone supports the lips and cheeks.
Over time, this can make your face look different.
Another tooth replacement
option is a fixed bridge, which fills the space where
one or more teeth have been lost. A fixed bridge
is bonded or cemented into place and only a dentist can
remove it. Placing a bridge will take more than
one dental visit. We will prepare your teeth on
either side of the gap and take some impressions to be
sent to our lab. From the impressions, the lab
will fabricate a bridge. In the meantime, we will
create a temporary which will be temporarily cemented
into your mouth to prevent your teeth from shifting
while the lab creates the bridge. The advantages
of a fixed bridge are that they look and feel like
natural teeth and aren't required to be removed to clean
them. However, they are generally more expensive
than a removable partial denture and involve the teeth
next to the missing tooth.
As its name describes, a
removable bridge (sometimes called a removable partial
denture) readily can be take out of the mouth for
cleaning. Although removable bridges generally are
less expensive, fixed bridges, when indicated, may feel
more stable and comfortable.
Depending on your
situation, however, a removable bridge may be for you.
Removable bridges usually have replacement teeth
attached to the gum-colored plastic bases connected by
metal framework. They may attach to your natural
teeth whit metal clasps or devices called precision
attachments. A claspless removable bridge, when
indicated, may proved better support and esthetics.
Crowns on your natural teeth may improve the way a
removable bridge fits your mouth.