What are Dental Bridges?
As the name suggests, a dental bridge is a set of teeth that creates a bridge over the space where a tooth is missing. Dental bridges are ideal if you have severely decayed teeth, need teeth extracted, or already have missing teeth. To get a bridge, you need teeth on either side of the gap in your smile.
Tooth bridges mimic the look, shape, and function of your natural teeth, and unlike dentures, a bridge is usually a fixed solution that is not removable. With a traditional dental bridge, a false tooth, also known as a pontic, is attached on each side to a dental crown secured to the adjacent teeth (called an abutment). The pontic remains securely attached to the crowns on either side bridging the gap between the teeth.
Benefits of a Tooth Bridge
There are several benefits of replacing missing teeth with a tooth bridge:
- Helps restore your smile: Missing teeth can negatively affect your smile and self-confidence. Getting a bridge will replace the gaps in your smile, restoring your smile and dramatically enhancing the quality of your life.
- Ability to chew properly: Once you lose your teeth, you may experience discomfort and difficulty when chewing your food. A dental bridge restores full function to the mouth, allowing you to comfortably chew your favorite foods.
- Restores pronunciation: Missing teeth can lead to a lisp, other speech impediments, or poor articulation. A dental bridge helps ensure that you can speak clearly.
- Prevents shifting: Without another tooth or teeth to prevent your neighboring teeth from moving, they could shift into the space your missing tooth left. This can affect your bite, place stress on your jaw, and cause pain and discomfort. Tooth replacement prevents your remaining adjacent teeth from moving or shifting out of the correct position.
What is the Process of Getting a Dental Bridge?
Getting a dental bridge typically requires two appointments:
- First appointment: During your first appointment, we will prepare the abutment teeth for the bridge by reshaping them. This involves removing part of the enamel to create room for the crown.
- Scan is sent to lab: We’ll then take a digital scan of your teeth and send it to the lab for fabrication. The lab uses the scans as a model to create your bridge, false teeth, and crowns, which usually takes about two weeks. We’ll place a temporary bridge to protect the exposed areas in your teeth while the lab makes your permanent bridge.
- Appointment for bridge placement: Once your custom dental bridge is ready, you’ll come in for your second appointment to have them placed. We will remove the temporary bridge and place the permanent one, making necessary adjustments to ensure a perfect and comfortable fit.