If you have missing teeth, it’s essential to replace them. Most people don’t realize this, but replacement is necessary in order to maintain proper mouth functions. Tooth loss can affect the way you eat, speak, and the alignment of other teeth in your mouth. Said another way, replacing lost teeth can prevent the collapse of your facial features, which can result in premature age lines and wrinkles. A bridge is one of the few options you have when deciding how to deal with a missing tooth or teeth.
As the name indicates, a bridge is a connection between two permanent structures. Likewise, a dental bridge attaches the missing teeth to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. This bridge acts as your new tooth or teeth, as the case may be, closing the gap, restoring your smile, and returning your mouth to its proper alignment.
Bridges are often constructed of gold or metal or ceramic foundations, however Dr. Viral completes them by fusing porcelain or ceramic to that foundation. This ensures that the bridge will support the normal functions of the mouth and results in an unbroken, natural and youthful-looking smile. There are three main types of bridges.
Traditional bridges, or Fixed Bridges, involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic, or false tooth, in between. These are the most common type of bridges. Dr. Viral uses both porcelain and ceramic, which he fuses to the metal foundation.
Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are used primarily on front teeth. This is usually the most economical choice when the abutment teeth are health and have no large fillings. Bridges are designed of porcelain and the gums are supported by a metal framework. Essentially, metal “wings” are bonded to your existing teeth on each side of the bridge.
Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. In this case, the pontic or false tooth is anchored to one side over one or more natural, adjacent teeth. If there are no adjacent teeth, Dr. Viral might recommend a dental implant –that is surgically embedded into the bone, and then capped with a crown. This implant can then serve as the abutment.
The procedure begins with preparation of the natural teeth. Dr. Viral will shape the abutment teeth so that the ends of the bridge will fit comfortably on each one. Next, he takes an impression of the area. He sends the impression to lab where your new restoration will be made. While this new tooth is created, we will provide you with a temporary restoration. Dr. Viral is known for his care in creating temporary restorations that closely resemble your natural teeth so you can go about your daily life without a second’s worry over a missing or unattractive tooth.
During your second visit, we will proceed with the placement of your final restoration. This bridge will be fitted comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure that the new bridge feels exactly like your natural teeth. The final step in the process is to cement the bridge into your mouth, leaving you with a beautifully restored smile.
When you have a bridge, it is more important than ever to brush, floss, get regular cleanings and see your dentist regularly. If you don’t control the food debris and plaque—which is the sticky film of bacteria formed–your teeth and gums can become infected, requiring further treatment and resulting in the possible loss of the bridge.
Dr. Viral might also recommend using floss that help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the bridge and adjacent teeth and gums.