It’s common to lose a tooth or two adjoining teeth due to either infection, gum disease or accident. Gone are the days when that deformity used to define your tooth structure. More than a mere cosmetic problem that would affect your smile and therefore, your confidence, missing teeth can also lead to other long-term dental troubles. Bridges fill the gap created by missing or damaged teeth. The experienced dental staff here at Grins and Giggles Family Dentistry recommend bridges as they can give you back your smile and restore dental functionality. More importantly, bridges are a way to honor one of the fundamental philosophies of dentistry, that teeth are best when they work together.
The Need for Bridges
A single missing tooth or a couple of missing teeth can have a profound impact on the overall function of your mouth. When a tooth is missing or most of it is broken, there is added pressure on the surrounding teeth, as they have to work hard to chew food. The opposite line of teeth is also impacted due to missing teeth on one side. It can also provide a safe space for food particles and bacterial infection to grow. If the gap is on the front, needless to say, it can also seriously lower one’s confidence. Finally, missing teeth can make the facial muscles sag over time.
How Do Bridges Work?
Bridges are a dental restorative procedure through which the gap left by a missing tooth or multiple teeth are filled. The process is more complex than of an ordinary filling or crowns. The dentists begin by creating crowns for the teeth surrounding the gap, referred to as abutment teeth and the missing teeth. The abutment teeth serve as anchors for the bridge by supporting it on both sides. The artificial teeth that constitute the bridges are called pontics. In appearance, structure and functionality, they are similar to natural teeth.
Different Types of Bridges
Bridges are made from porcelain, alloys, gold, or a fusion of these. Based on their functionality and construction, bridges can be divided into three categories. These are traditional, cantilever and Maryland bonded bridges. The most popular form is the traditional kind that uses a pontic anchored by two abutment teeth. Made from a combination of porcelain and ceramic or metal, these look and function like natural teeth. When there’s an anchor tooth on only part of the gap, cantilever bridges are recommended. Maryland bridges, created from porcelain or its combination with other materials, rely on porcelain or metal structure for support.
How Will I Know if I Need a Bridge?
Bridges bring structural balance and integrity to the functioning of the teeth, in addition to elevating the overall aesthetic appeal. For these reasons, if you have missing teeth, you should call us at (509) 928-4746 and get a professional opinion from our team here at Grins and Giggles Family Dentistry. If we suggest a dental bridge, the entire procedure can be completed in two to three sessions. In a matter of weeks, both your bite and smile will look and feel a whole lot different.