When teeth are missing a series of changes that can impact your overall dental health and jaw function may be initiated. The adjacent teeth may start to drift or tilt into the space, and teeth in the opposing jaw may start to shift toward the area of the missing tooth. It is therefore important to replace the single tooth or multiple teeth that have been lost. One of the best options to prevent the consequences of shifting teeth and to restore full function to a small edentulous section in the mouth is a dental bridge.
A dental bridge replaces the missing teeth with artificial teeth called “pontics,” and is supported on the ends by prepared natural teeth. Once fabricated and fitted a dental bridge will be permanently “fixed,” or cemented into place. Like crowns, bridges can be made of either porcelain baked on to a metal substrate or many of the new ceramic materials that have been developed.
- A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth. It uses teeth on either side of the missing tooth for support. It typically requires multiple appointments to complete the process of getting a bridge.
- At the first appointment, your doctor will take an impression — or mold — of your teeth for the temporary bridge.
- Next, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared. They will become the support structure for your new tooth.
- A second impression is taken of the prepared teeth, which will be used by a dental lab to create the final bridge. Your doctor will provide you with a temporary bridge while your final restoration is being made.
- When the final restoration is ready, your doctor will remove the temporary bridge and replace it with the permanent one.
- Once completed, the area is restored to optimal function and appearance.