- When it comes to maintaining the health of your teeth, every individual tooth has a role to play. Whether it be in speaking, chewing, or preserving your bite alignment, your teeth preserve the health of your mouth.
- While it is possible to prevent tooth decay and loss throughout life, it is necessary to replace any missing teeth to ensure the structural health of the mouth.
- Thankfully, there are a variety of options when it comes to replacing missing teeth.
Dental Bridge Options
Dental bridges are used to take the place of teeth that have been removed. A dental bridge connects to the remaining teeth in the mouth to act as a replacement for the extracted tooth. Bridges can be either fixed with dental cement, or removable, much like dentures.
Dental bridges can be affixed to remaining teeth through the use of dental crowns. They can also be bonded to the remaining teeth, effectively attaching the new teeth to the old to ensure they remain in place while eating. Bridges that can be removed or ones that are temporary can be attached with either metal clasps or other fixtures to make sure they stay in the same location as the extraction points.
If you have had more than one tooth removed, it is important to be aware of how it can impact the aesthetics of your teeth, as well as their function. Your mouth relies on all of your teeth to continue working in order to eat and speak normally. Without all of your teeth, it is oftentimes difficult to chew or speak properly. Any teeth that have been removed from the mouth should be replaced in order to prevent dental health issues and to ensure there is no deterioration of the jaw bone. Fixed dental bridges can help preserve your dental health and keep up the appearance of your teeth.
What are dental bridges or fixed partial dentures?
A dental bridge is a fixture that replaces missing teeth, acting as a way to bridge the gap where teeth have extracted. Fixed bridges are connected to the remaining teeth via a fixodent, and can only be removed by a professional. Removable bridges can be easily taken out and cleaned, much like traditional dentures. However, permanently affixed dentures are more stable and secure than removable ones.
Why do I need a bridge?
Dental bridges can improve dental functionality, and can lead to a more aesthetically pleasing smile. Not only to they help fix the holes left behind by extracted teeth, which can improve the overall appearance of the mouth, they also help prevent deterioration and premature aging of the face due to missing teeth.
While aesthetic reasons are important to keep in mind when considering a dental bridge, dental health is the most crucial factor when it comes to getting a bridge. The human dental structure works best when put together, and as such many of the parts of your mouth rely on each other for stability and functionality. Without all of your teeth present, undue stress can be placed on the gums, jawbone, and tissues of the mouth, which can lead to further dental complications down the road. The risk of gum and periodontal disease can also be prevented through the use of a bridge, and can help waylay additional dental costs down the road. Along with this, dental bridges can prevent the issues that come with missing teeth, such as speech issues and general comfort.
How is a bridge attached?
Getting a dental bridge attached can take multiple appointments to finalize. First, your dentist will prepare the teeth on either side of the extraction point to make sure they are stable enough to support the bridge. Then, small amounts of enamel and dentin will be removed to allow for a comfortable fit for the bridge supports. Since the fit of the bridge itself is crucial to ensure the most optimal function of your new bridge, the dentist will take moulds of your bite and the surrounding teeth to craft the most comfortable bridge possible. The impressions are then sent to a lab, where the bridge will be built.
Fixed bridges are traditionally cemented to the natural teeth on either side of a gap, which serves to stabilize the fixture. A false tooth, also known as a pontic, replaces any extracted teeth, restoring the mouth to its normal appearance. Crowns may also be attached to the supporting teeth in order to ensure a comfortable, secure fit for the bridge itself.
What materials are used?
Dental bridges can be made from a variety of materials, from gold and other non-precious alloys, to porcelain or a combination materials. For stability, porcelain is often combined with a metal alloy.
How do I take care of my bridge?
Usual dental care, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can help preserve the bridge itself, as well as keeping up the health of remaining teeth. Making sure the natural teeth acting as supports for the bridge are as healthy as possible are crucial to the longevity of your dental bridge.