What is a Bridge?
Bridges are a replacement customized to fit any gaps in your mouth. Attached to these abutments are the artificial teeth helping create your bridge.
You can have either removable or fixed bridges created. Both are constructed from a variety of different materials, including gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of those materials. Porcelain bridges are typically bonded to either a non-precious or precious metal alloy.
A properly cared for bridge can last several years. Constructing and fitting a bridge typically only takes 2 to 4 office visits.
How do You Know if You Need a Bridge?
If you experience any of the following symptoms/conditions, then bridgework may be the right solution for you:
- Missing teeth
- A sudden change in your ability to chew or speak
- A change in the shape of your face
- Less self-confidence in your smile
If you leave your missing teeth untreated, they can:
- Elevate your risk for more painful periodontal disease
- Cause an unstable bite
- Lead to additional damage to your teeth and gums
- Cause headaches
When are Bridges Prescribed?
Even though you may have missing teeth, a bridge may not be the proper solution. However, if you experience one of the following situations, bridgework may be the correct solution:
- If you have one or more teeth missing and healthy teeth on both sides of the gap
- You have had teeth removed and your dentist has planned bridgework as part of the process
What Types of Bridges are Available?
You can have either removable or fixed bridges constructed. A removable bridge is used when:
- Teeth surrounding the gap are weak
- You have multiple missing teeth
- You have no teeth in the rear of your mouth to act as an anchor for your bridge
A fixed bridge is permanently anchored to abutments placed in your mouth and require daily cleaning with dental floss and a specially made aide. Fixed bridges are a better option than removable partial dentures.
How Does the Bridge Construction Process Work?
You must first go in for an examination at your dentist’s office. He or she will examine your teeth, gums, and supporting bone structure and provide treatment options based on his or her observations. If bridgework is the appropriate solution, here’s the typical process you can expect to happen:
- An anesthetic is applied so abutments can be prepared. If the tooth intended to be an abutment is damaged or decayed, your dentist may first rebuild and protect it with a crown.
- Your dentist takes an impression of your teeth with a material similar to putty. The bridge is then constructed based on the precise impression taken.
- Until your permanent bridge is ready, you are fitted with a temporary bridge.
- After many visits, the bridge is cemented to your real teeth.
If you believe bridgework is an appropriate solution for you, contact Dr. David Hazzouri’s office at 570-961-6030.