When it comes to speaking correctly, chewing and proper alignment- all of your teeth play a crucial role. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do happen to lose teeth, they must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are several options for correcting tooth loss. One of these options are dental bridges, and your Longmeadow and Springfield bridge specialist Dr. Gregory Zirakian is here to help you regain your beautiful smile.
What are dental bridges?
A dental bridge is a device used to replace missing teeth that attach artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges), or they are cemented temporarily into place.
Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or with precision attachments. The latter are known as Maryland bridges
If you happen to be missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and oral health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions, from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can, and should be replaced as soon as they can. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance without breaking your bank account.
Why do I need a dental bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older.
Overall, dental health is the most important reason for getting a bridge. Our teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders.
Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.
Missing teeth can also cause speech disorders, as the teeth are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
What are the procedures to make a dental bridge?
There are several steps needed to make your dental bridge. Most bridges can be constructed in as little as two appointments to help you replace your missing teeth.
- Numbing medicine (Lidocaine) is used to numb your teeth
- A preliminary impression is taken to help make your interim dental bridge
- The adjacent teeth next to the missing tooth site are shaped using a dental drill
- An impression of your mouth is taken that is sent to the laboratory
- The lab constructs your bridge and sends it back to your dentist
- Your dentist tries on the bridge and makes necessary alterations to the bridge including adjusting your occlusion or bite.
- The dental bridge is then approved and cemented into place using a unique dental cement
What materials are typically used to construct a dental bridge?
Most dental bridges come in three forms:
- Porcelain Dental Bridge – Cosmetic and functional
- Gold Dental Bridge – Made of pure Gold. Gold is great for longevity and function
- Porcelain fused to metal dental bridge – typically used when stronger biting forces are seen
HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY DENTAL BRIDGE?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.
For more information on dental bridges, contact our team at East Longmeadow Family Dental Center today!