Healthy, strong teeth are needed to support your jaw and maintain its alignment. The loss of just one tooth can shift the others, sometimes affecting your ability to chew and speak. A bridge, or fixed partial denture, solves these problems by replacing the lost tooth with an artificial one. A bridge often resembles a series of three teeth. It is bonded to the teeth that remain on either side of the gap, creating a bridge between them.
If you have a hole inside of your mouth from a missing tooth or teeth, a dental bridge will fill the gap. A bridge is a custom made device that fills in the gap with false teeth or a single tooth. This row of false teeth is attached by a dental bridge that is secured to surrounding teeth.
Biltmore Commons Dental Care’s cosmetic dentists can prepare your teeth on either side of the gap to remove a portion of each abutment (surrounding teeth) in order to secure the crown. If your teeth already have fillings, we may leave a portion of the filling in order to give the crown a good foundation.
Next steps include creating an impression. This molding is what the bridge is made out of to ensure it fits your mouth. The false tooth/teeth and crown will be processed and developed by a dental laboratory. There is always the option of implementing a temporary bridge while you wait on the lab to complete your personalized dental bridge. A temporary bridge is important, as it protects your teeth and gums in the meantime.
If you prefer to avoid temporary dental bridges, your dentist may recommend a “flipper.” A flipper device is a false tooth that serves the same purpose as the temporary bridge. It is attached to the roof of your mouth with a formed piece of plastic or metal. Flippers are temporary solutions and aren’t expected to last for years.
Once your dental bridge is completed, the temporary bridge is removed and discarded. Your new permanent bridge is then fitted, inspected, adjusted, and tested for bite discrepancies. Once you’re comfortable with your brand new bridge, it is cemented to your mouth, creating a permanent fix.
The success of the dental bridge depends on keeping the surrounding teeth healthy and strong. Regular brushing and flossing are essential for the maintenance of your bridge and teeth.