When tooth loss becomes an issue, we have a wide variety of tooth replacement options that you should consider. A dental bridge gives patients a way to replace several missing teeth in a row, or a single tooth. When missing teeth become an issue you have to worry about, consider replacing them with a dental bridge so that you can avoid the many downfalls of tooth loss.
How Tooth Loss Can Affect YouPeople don't realize how much a missing tooth can affect your oral health. A missing tooth can lead to issues like bone loss and even further tooth loss. One of the issues that dental bridges help to prevent is the unwanted movement of neighboring teeth. Teeth are not stationary in the mouth, instead they are all a little bit reliant on their neighboring teeth for support. When a tooth is lost the neighboring teeth are usually pushed into the gap, not a lot, but enough that it can change the way your bite fits together.
What is a dental bridge?Dental bridges are permanent dental fixtures that require two supporting structures to act as anchors for the fixture. We can use your natural teeth to support the bridge, or we can place dental implants and have the bridge span the distance between the implants. A bridge is made to look like the teeth that we are replacing in your mouth. A bridge that replaces three missing teeth will have the two anchor teeth plus the three teeth that it is replacing, all in one long prosthesis that is made to look like your real teeth.
The ProcedureTo have a dental bridge placed is a procedure that requires at least two trips to our office to accomplish. During the first visit we will take an impression of your mouth to be used in crafting the bridge. Once we have the impression we can begin preparing your teeth to receive the bridge.
Natural teeth are significantly altered by shaving off the outer enamel of the tooth so that the bridge can fit over top of the anchor teeth. These teeth will be unable to function without a bridge or crown over them from this point on. Once we have your teeth prepared, we can place a temporary bridge over them to give you the ability to eat and speak again.
By the time you return for the second appointment we will have the permanent bridge ready. We will remove the temporary and place the permanent in your mouth using a permanent dental cement. We will make sure that the bridge fits into your bite properly and that you feel comfortable with it in your mouth.
Other Tooth Replacement OptionsBecause dental bridges require us to significantly alter your natural teeth, it is preferable to consider more advantageous tooth replacement options, like dental implants to replace your missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth, support bridges and even full arches of teeth.
Please call us today at (503) 221-1973 to schedule an appointment.