Dental bridges literally “bridge the gap” created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. The two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, and a false tooth/teeth in between are called pontics. These Dental Bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or aesthetics.
During the first visit, the abutment teeth are prepared. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Impressions of the teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental laboratory. A temporary bridge is made to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.
During the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new permanent bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This is dependent on each individual’s case. If the dental bridge is a fixed (permanent) bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is permanently cemented into place.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a chain reaction of bad things. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to “fall.” As this worsens, the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw; for example, TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.
It’s nice to have everything your mouth needs in one place – dentistry, periodontal, and orthodontics. I’ve not only gained a healthy mouth, but a great bunch of friends.
The staff at Hampton Dentistry are truly attentive and friendly. Dr. Baker, with her kind and honest demeanor, puts one’s mind completely at ease.
Just about every facet of oral problem solvers can be found on the premises by leading experts in their field. But topping the list is Dr. Danielle Baker herself!