The loss of a tooth can be very distressing. Although most people focus on the aesthetic flaw created by a missing tooth, don’t forget that it can also impair a person’s ability to speak properly, damage their bite, and allow their remaining teeth to drift out of position. There are several solutions to missing teeth, including implants, flippers, Snap-On Smiles, and bridges. Today we’re discussing that final option: the bridge. So what is a dental bridge? Does it mimic a structural bridge? How long will it last? Let’s explore this effective, efficient solution to missing teeth . . .
What Is a Dental Bridge?
To fill the gap left by a missing tooth, a device is attached to the natural teeth or implants on either side of the empty space. This device is known as a dental bridge, and it includes a replacement tooth (known as a pontic) that mirrors the patient’s natural teeth in color and shape. A dental bridge can improve the appearance of your smile, restore your ability to speak properly, provide a better bite, and prevent your other teeth from shifting. It is a common, long-term solution for a missing tooth.
How It Works
The teeth on either side of the gap (known as abutments) will serve as anchors for the bridge. These can be natural teeth or implants. Crowns will be placed on both teeth, and they will be attached to a pontic, which will fill the gap. The crowns and pontic will all be color-matched and carefully sized and shaped to provide a natural look. Once the crowns are cemented into place, the bridge will remain sturdy and reliable for many years to come. In fact, some bridges last a lifetime!
During your first visit, your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth. They will need to be shaved down to allow room for the crowns. After that, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth, which will serve as a model for the bridge, pontic, and crowns. During your second visit, the bridge will be positioned and cemented into place. Don’t be surprised or upset if the bridge doesn’t feel completely comfortable right away. Your dentist may need to adjust it (potentially over multiple visits) to achieve a perfect fit.
Life with a Bridge
Your bridge will look and feel natural, so you won’t have to make any great adjustments to your life or oral hygiene. Although it is recommended that you avoid chewing on very hard foods or objects, your teeth cleaning routine should remain the same. Continue brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings.
Dental bridges are an attractive, efficient way to replace a missing tooth. Plus, with first-rate oral hygiene and routine check-ups, your bridge can last fifteen years or more! Are you missing a tooth? If you would like to replace it with a dental bridge and you live in Springfield, Missouri, please contact Wilkinson Dental today. You can request an appointment online or give us a call at 417-882-8222. We would be happy to help!