All teeth play an important role in speech, chewing, and maintain proper alignment of the other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to happen as we age. But if you lose any teeth due to age, these must be replaced to maintain proper functioning of the mouth. Fortunately, there are options to correct tooth loss.
A dental bridge—a device used to replace missing teeth—grants artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth, bridges can be mounted in a fixed way (fixed bridges), or they can be removable.
Fixed bridges are applied either by placing crowns over the abutment teeth or by attaching the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal closures or by precision fasteners.
If one or more teeth are missing, you should be aware of the importance of their appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions of eating, talking. If there are missing teeth, it is difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed and removable bridges are the biggest procedure to restore your dental health and appearance.
What Is a Bridge/Fixed Prosthesis?
A bridge (fixed partial prosthesis) is a device that fills the space where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are attached in place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges, as the name implies, can be removed and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts.
Why Do I Need a Bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons to use a bridge. A bridge helps keep your lips and cheeks. The loss of a tooth can cause your mouth and face to sink to look older.
Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. The teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, leading to a number of potentially harmful disorders.
Increased risk of gum disease has been shown to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.
Missing teeth can cause speech disorders, as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
How do I attach a bridge?
The procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete the treatment. At the first appointment, Dr. Villa will prepare the teeth on each side of the space by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Since the bridge must be manufactured very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposite tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to the laboratory where the built bridge will be performed.
Fixed bridges are usually cemented to the natural teeth following the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the missing tooth, and the crowns are cemented over the natural teeth, thus providing support for the bridge.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be built from gold alloys, non-precious metal alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often attached to either a precious or non-precious metal.
How can I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance, as the bridge rests on neighboring teeth.