Having one or more missing teeth can have a serious effect on your smile and also on your dental health. Missing teeth can cause:
A shift in the alignment of your teeth
Increased risk of periodontal disease
Increased risk of tooth decay
Loss of adjacent teeth
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
Dental bridges are used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. They are supported by the teeth on either side of the missing tooth called abutment teeth. A dental bridge will improve your ability to chew and speak as well as your smile. In addition, dental bridges can help keep your jaw bones and face from changing shape, as they tend to do when a person is missing teeth.
A bridge usually requires two or more visits to the office. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made. This mold will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be custom fabricated. A temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
At the following visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted as necessary, and cemented to achieve a proper fit.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will help prolong the lifespan of your new permanent bridge.