Permanently Bridge the Gap
Missing teeth can have an impact on your health. Gaps can cause remaining teeth to shift and misalign. Infections can occur, and there could be bone loss. Missing teeth can cause your face to be misshapen and look sunken, prematurely aging you. Worry about your appearance can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence.
So, what do you do about a missing tooth? One treatment option we provide at Country Club Dental is the bridge.
What Is a Bridge?
A dental bridge does for your teeth what a different type of bridge does for a river — it covers a gap and bridges the space. Unlike dentures, a dental bridge is permanently fixed and can only be removed by a dentist.
A dental bridge is a false tooth that fills in the gap and is held in place by one or more of the adjoining teeth. There are three basic types of bridges — traditional, cantilever, and Maryland. Although similar, there are some important differences.
The traditional bridge places the false tooth (pontic) between crowned abutment teeth. Due to its strength and durability, the traditional bridge is the one most recommended. However, circumstances may favor one of the other two solutions.
A cantilever bridge is used when there is only one adjoining tooth to use as an anchor. A Maryland bridge is a less invasive, but weaker, fixed bridge where the false tooth (pontic) is bonded to the back of the abutment teeth instead of using crowns.
Process for a Traditional Bridge
The first step in the bridge procedure is to prepare the abutment teeth. These teeth need to have enamel removed to allow room for a crown. Then, impressions of the teeth are made to serve as a model for the bridge, pontic, and crowns to be created. If necessary, a temporary bridge will be put in place to protect the exposed teeth while the bridge is being made.
On your next visit, your temporary bridge is removed and the new custom-made bridge with the pontic firmly attached to the crowns will be checked and adjusted to achieve a proper fit. Depending on the patient, there may need to be some additional adjustment, but if all is well, the crowns are cemented into place and you are good to go.
Is a Bridge for You?
Longer-lasting and more convenient than dentures and less expensive than an implant, a bridge may be an attractive and affordable solution for you. The many benefits include:
- Restoring your smile and confidence
- Improving your ability to properly chew and distribute the chewing force
- Restoring speech and pronunciation affected by missing teeth
- Restoring the shape of your face
- Preventing tooth shifting and misalignment
With proper care and regular checkups, it is not unusual for a fixed bridge to last 10 years or longer. If you are in the Cameron Park, California, area and are missing a tooth, or it’s just time for a regular checkup, call to schedule an appointment today!