A great way to replace a missing tooth
Why a Bridge
- A missing tooth or teeth
- Potential bite and jaw joint problems from teeth shifting to fill the space
- The "sunken face" look associated with missing teeth
- Desire to improve chewing ability
- Desire for a more permanent solution than dentures
- Desire to improve one's smile
What is a Bridge?
A bridge is a non-removable (fixed) appliance that is typically attached to the teeth on each side of the space where there is a missing tooth or to dental implants. The missing tooth or multiple teeth are replaced by an artificial tooth (pontic) which is attached in the middle of the bridge. The teeth on either side of the space (abutments) are prepared for crowns and an impression is made of the prepared area. This impression is used to create a bridge in our dental laboratory. The bridge is then cemented onto the prepared surface of the teeth, effectively creating the appearance of a "new" tooth. The illustration created by WebMD shows how this procedure is accomplished.
The Benefits of a Bridge
Unlike a partial denture, a fixed bridge is not removable. It is stable in the mouth and functions like natural teeth. By filling the space where there is a missing tooth and stopping the movement of other teeth, a fixed bridge is an excellent investment. It provides increased chewing efficiency, helps avoid possible bite or TMJ problems, and can be highly esthetic.
For information on how to care for your new bridge, click here.
Are there other treatment options?
The state-of-the-art replacement of a missing tooth or several teeth is a dental implant. Dental implants preserve the structure of the adjacent teeth. For a bridge to be placed, the adjacent teeth must be prepared to provide room so the bridge can be cemented. If a removable alternative is desired, then a partial denture would be an option.