Dental bridges literally bridge the gap between healthy teeth and a decayed or missing tooth! They are a wonderful restoration option for patients who do not have enough bone structure to support a dental implant, or who do not want to commit to an implant. Bridges are a less costly alternative to replacing a missing tooth compared to a dental implant, and will still provide a long-lasting restoration to your smile!
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Besides potentially causing patients to lose confidence in their smile, a single missing tooth can have far-reaching negative effects on your oral health. A missing tooth can cause difficulty speaking and eating, and over time will result in the shifting of other teeth, bone loss, an uneven bite, and increased risk of periodontal issues.
The traditional 3-unit dental bridge consists of the replacement tooth (the pontic) held in place on either side by dental crowns (abutments), which are cemented onto the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. The procedure is similar to that of receiving a dental crown, and typically two or more visits are required.
During the first visit, the abutment teeth are re-shaped so that the crowns can be placed over them. An impression of the teeth is made, which is sent to a dental lab to create the bridge. Dr. Shaun Kim will fit you with a temporary bridge to protect your teeth while your bridge is being crafted.
During your second visit, our doctors will remove the temporary bridge and check and adjust the new permanent bridge as necessary. He will confirm that the permanent bridge matches the size, shape and color of your natural teeth, and also check for proper fit and bite. Multiple visits may be needed to ensure that the bridge is fitting properly before cementing it permanently into place.
As with all dental restorations, proper care of your dental bridge is extremely important to avoid difficulties with the restoration and prolong its life. Be sure to brush and floss daily in and around the bridge to keep the teeth that secure it and the surrounding area healthy!