A bridge is a device used to replace missing teeth. It attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are permanently attached (fixed bridges). Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.
What exactly is a bridge or fixed partial denture?
A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device which fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Fixed bridges offer more stability than removable partial dentures.
Why do I need a bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older.
When a tooth is lost the adjacent teeth tend to tilt into the gap that was left. Also the opposing tooth in the opposite jaw will start to over erupt because there is no partner. If these three teeth start moving they will become mobile and periodontal pockets will develop around them. A periodontal pocket is when the gum around a tooth loses attachment and becomes a breeding ground fa all kinds of bacteria. The deeper the pocket becomes the worse the infection will become and make the pocket even deeper. This will eventually lead to severe bone loss around the tooth causing mobility and eventually tooth loss.
Increased risk of gum disease has proven 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 is a bridge attached?
If the bridge cannot be made in a single visit by using the Cerec machine the procedure will take two appointments to complete.
At the first appointment, Dr. Madden will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentine. A Temporary bridge will then be made
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 constructed.
Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.
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 neighbouring teeth for support.
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