When teeth are missing, it can lead an individual to feel self-conscious. Anyone who is missing teeth does not want to smile and may even avoid going out in public. Thankfully, there are ways to adjust the mouth for missing teeth, one of which is a bridge. A bridge is a fixed removable device that is created and used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. The dentist will provide this option as a solution if they feel you will benefit from a bridge replacement.
A bridge can be supported in three different ways. The natural teeth can be used as support, an implant or a combination of the two. A traditional bridge is one that is created by using a crown for the teeth that is constructed for both sides of the space that is missing and then a fake tooth or teeth is placed in the middle of the crowns. Often called a cap, the crown will then be supported by the natural teeth or implants when needed.
Teeth that are strong will not need root canal therapy but your dentist may suggest this if he/she feels it is needed. Portions of the teeth may be removed to make space for the new crowns. The bridge constructed in the traditional manner will be made of ceramics or a porcelain that is fused to metal.
Additional Types of Bridges
Besides the traditional bridge option, your dentist may suggest an alternative option such as a cantilever or a bonded bridge. A cantilever bridge is one that is held in place by one or more crowns on just one side of the space where the tooth or teeth is missing. A bonded bridge is one that uses a metal framework known as wings that are placed on each side of the missing tooth. These wings are then bonded to the back of teeth that remain for security. The false teeth that are part of the bridge will be bonded to the framework of the piece to ensure proper placement and durability.
To get started with putting a bridge in place, you will need to visit the dentist. Once the dentist recommends a bridge, you will need to have your teeth prepared. Temporary crowns will be put in place and impressions of the teeth made to create a life-like bridge for your mouth. On the last visit, the bridge will be put in place and adjusted as needed. A bridge can last from five to seven years with proper dental care.
Many times, a bridge will fail due to the supporting teeth becoming weak or having cavities. By making sure you care for your existing teeth as well as the bridge, you will be able to enjoy a successful smile for many years to come.
Learn more about bridges and the exact process by contacting our office at (602) 482-5100 to schedule an appointment consultation.