Missing teeth can cause irregular bite, tilting or shifting of teeth over the space, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), speech problems and increases the risk for periodontal disease and tooth decay.
A dental bridge literally bridges the gap between the teeth from one point to another. It is a fixed prosthetic dental device that is cemented on your existing teeth or implants.
The procedure for getting dental bridges
A dental bridge is composed of two dental crowns which are known as caps and replacement teeth are called pontics. To complete the treatment of a dental bridge, you require at least 2 appointments. During your first visit, the teeth next to your missing tooth are prepared and your dentist will remove a portion of the tooth enamel so that the crown can be fitted over each and enough room is left in between for the pontics. Then the impressions of the teeth are made as they will serve as the template from which all parts of dental bridges will be prepared and then a temporary bridge will be made. This temporary bridge will protect your exposed teeth and gums.
During your second visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent bridge will be positioned and adjusted in its place to give the right fit for you. After the treatment, your dentist will recommend you to continue your dental visits regularly to help maintain your oral health.
The advantages of dental bridges
Prevents movement of adjacent and opposing teeth
Helps restore function
If it is a front tooth missing, helps restore esthetics
The disadvantages of dental bridges
Have to remove tooth structure from adjacent teeth
Can get recurrent decay around the bridge
Have to use floss threaders to floss under bridge
Bone loss will continue in area of missing tooth
Make sure to visit your dentist often to avoid oral health complications and keep your mouth healthy.