Whether a tooth has been knocked loose due to trauma or has fallen out as a result of decay, it is important to replace the tooth as soon as possible, and not just for aesthetic reasons. Leaving a gap in the mouth where a tooth used to be is actually detrimental to oral health. Other teeth can drift into the gap, increasing the chances that you will lose or break more teeth. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to replace missing teeth, including the dental bridge.
What is a dental bridge?
A bridge is a dental appliance that literally bridges the gap left in the mouth by missing teeth. The bridge is made of one or more artificial teeth (called pontics) that span the gap, attached on both sides to a crown that fits over a remaining tooth (called an abutment tooth). Dental bridges come in two varieties: removable and fixed. A removable bridge connects to the abutment teeth with a small metal clasp, and the wearer can take it out at any time. Fixed bridges are attached to the abutment teeth with dental cement and can’t be removed.
How do bridges work?
The first step in placing a dental bridge is to prepare the two teeth on either side of the gap. This preparation involves removing the outer layer of enamel on these remaining teeth so that the stabilizing crown can be placed over them. Next, we will take impressions of your teeth so that a custom bridge, pontic, and crown can be made to fit your mouth. After it’s finished, your bridge will be placed in your mouth, adjusted for proper fit, and, if it’s permanent, cemented into place. This process takes two to three visits. With proper care, your bridge can last ten to fifteen years.
Why should I consider a bridge?
Dental bridges have many benefits:
- Restore the functionality of natural teeth, allowing you to eat and speak normally
- Are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth, so they offer a cosmetic solution for missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting
- Are more affordable than other teeth replacement options such as dental implants
- Are less invasive and quicker to place than dental implants
- Don’t slip and don’t require any adhesives, unlike dentures
Wondering if a bridge is right for you? Contact Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale, your premier dentist in Westchester, NY, and let us help you on the road back to a complete, beautiful smile.