How Bridges Use Your Natural Teeth
Tooth loss, even just one tooth, has a huge impact on your mouth. Once simple tasks, like eating and speaking, quickly become difficult. Not only that, but missing teeth affect your appearance. Even a single missing tooth could greatly impact your confidence. At Dallas Prosthodontics, we understand the importance of replacing missing teeth and strive to restore not only the function but the aesthetics of your smile. We offer several options for the replacement of missing teeth, one of which are dental bridges.
What is a Bridge?
A bridge is a dental appliance that “bridges” the gap left behind by one to three missing teeth. Pontic (prosthetic) teeth are anchored on to your surrounding healthy teeth (referred to as abutment teeth) by one of two ways, depending upon the type of bridge you receive. They are usually made of ceramic, but can also be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a mixture of these materials (often a metal substructure covered by porcelain), to provide you with a complete set of functional teeth.
Types of Bridges
The most common type of bridge is a fixed bridge. With this bridge, the pontic teeth set between two crowns, which anchor on to your adjacent healthy teeth, holding the appliance firmly in place. To place a fixed bridge, your adjacent teeth must first be prepared, just as if you were only getting crowns.
Another common type of bridge is known as a resin-bonded (or Maryland) bridge. Instead of crowns, this type of bridge is supported by your adjacent teeth with metal “wings.” Rather than requiring your teeth to be trimmed, the wings are cemented to the back of your healthy teeth, allowing them to remain whole.
Benefits of Bridges
Bridges offer several benefits, including:
Getting Your Bridge
Your bridge is a restoration that will take two visits. During your first visit, we will perform a complete exam of your mouth and take a few X-rays. If you are getting a fixed bridge, we will prepare your teeth. What this means is that we will trim (shave) your adjacent healthy teeth, making room for your crowns to fit over them. Your teeth will not need to prepared for a resin-bonded bridge. Next, impressions of the area are taken. We send the impression to our lab. There, it will take anywhere between one and two weeks to create your custom bridge. A temporary bridge will be supplied while you wait. When done, you will return for your second visit. We check your bridge for fit and comfort and then cement it permanently in place.
Once in place, you are left with a complete smile and teeth that function normally. And caring for your new bridge is no different than caring for your natural teeth. If you have one or more missing teeth, don’t wait. Dallas Prosthodontics is here to help restore both form and function to your mouth. Give us a call today at (972) 503-7200 to schedule your consultation and learn if a bridge is right for you!