All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose teeth, in most cases, they can be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.
Dental Bridge Options
A dental bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are cemented (bonded) onto the abutment teeth (fixed bridges). Because fixed bridges are cemented into place, they can only be removed by a dental professional.
Why do I need a dental bridge?
Functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders.
The bridge procedure usually takes two appointments to complete. At the first appointment, Dr. Fetner or Dr. O'Neil will prepare the teeth on either side of the space where the tooth was extracted (pulled). Prepping a tooth requires a portion of the enamel and dentin to be removed.
Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be fabricated (constructed).
At the second appointment, fixed bridge is typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic replaces the lost tooth and is splinted to the abutment crowns.
How do 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 relies on the neighboring teeth for support.