Replacing Missing Teeth
- Complete Your Smile
- Maintain Proper Bite
- Protect Jaw Joint
- 2 Visits
There are a several types of bridges and bridge techniques available; each designed to meet almost any individual need.
Bridges are constructed to replace missing teeth. A bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth attached, usually on both sides, to crowns on adjacent teeth. Not only do they fill the unsightly spaces left by lost teeth, but they also help support the teeth adjacent to, and directly opposite, the missing tooth or teeth.
When a tooth is lost, the adjacent teeth may shift position. The tooth opposite to the lost tooth may begin to extend out of its socket. Shifted teeth are harder to clean, making them more susceptible to cavities and permanent bone loss. The bite may also be altered making it more difficult to chew, possibly damaging the temporomandibular joint - the TMJ or jaw joint.
The bridge procedure is usually completed in two office visits. On the first visit, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are cleared of any decay and shaped to accept special crowns called abutments. (Sometimes it is necessary for one or both of the abutments to actually be an implant.) An impression is then taken from which a model of the teeth will be made by the dental laboratory. Your dentist will then place a temporary bridge.
Over the next one to two weeks, the lab will create the permanent bridge on the models made from your dental impression. The abutments will attach to and support a pontic - the portion of the bridge replacing the missing tooth. At the next visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is positioned. Once properly located, it's cemented in place.