A bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — permanently attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. The abutment teeth are ground down (like crown preparations) to make room for the bridge. You will wear a temporary bridge for two weeks while a laboratory makes the permanent bridge. Then the bridge is permanently cemented to the abutment teeth.
Fixed bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth. Often, dental implants are an alternative to bridges for replacing missing teeth. Dr. Rogers will discuss both treatment options to you.
Why do I need a bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge can restore chewing function and prevent unwanted tooth movement. It also helps support your lips and cheeks. Sometimes a bridge can help with speech problems.
How is a bridge attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Rogers will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.
Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
How do I take care of my bridge?
Daily brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. You must learn to floss underneath the bridge with a flossing aid. Proper oral hygiene is of critical importance to prevent decay and gum disease of the abutment teeth.