A fixed removable denture or dental bridge is a prosthetic device comprised of two anchoring teeth known as crowns and an artificial tooth in between them. It functions as a replacement for a single tooth or multiple teeth and literally “bridges” the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth. It is also a restorative procedure that is performed at Sidhu Family Dentistry to correct tooth loss. Bridges can be constructed from different materials such as gold or non-precious alloys bonded with porcelain, porcelain, or combinations of such materials.
The Importance of replacing missing Teeth
There are a number of reasons why missing teeth should be replaced. Over time, the gum and jaw begin to recede if the teeth are not replaced. This has the tendency to alter the facial structure and makes the face look sad or sullen. The worst part is that this will make you look much older than your actual age.
Types of Bridges
There are two basic types of dental bridges – fixed and removable – which can be supported in one of the 3 following ways:
- By Dental Implants
- By your Natural Teeth
- By a combination of Dental Implants and your Natural Teeth
Traditional dental bridges are usually made by creating artificial teeth or crowns for both sides of the gap created by a missing tooth while an additional false tooth is attached in between the crowns thereby filling the empty space.
Are You a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
The two most important reasons for wearing a dental bridge are that it restores your appearance (facial structure) and oral functionality. Plus, it provides support for your cheeks and lips. The patient who is a good candidate for getting a dental bridge will have two healthy natural teeth with strong roots on either side of the gap created by the missing tooth/teeth. Individuals who have other problems with their teeth that require an additional procedure such as endodontic or root canal therapy are typically are good candidates for dental bridges as well.
Over time, the affected tooth or teeth be damaged over time due to infections and losing their strength. However, if the teeth surrounding the gap are unhealthy, a possible solution would be to use dental implants as anchors to secure the device in place. But the implant procedure can take 6 to 8 months (or longer to complete) depending on the patient. Implants are a more permanent solution but it requires having healthy gums and jawbones if the crown is going to be placed properly.
How is the Dental Bridge attached?
It may take two or three visits to Sidhu Family Dentistry in order to complete the attachment of a dental bridge. Your dentist will prepare the teeth surrounding the empty space by removing segments of the dentin and enamel. Impressions of your teeth are taken and then sent to the lab that makes the bridge. Precise fabrication of the teeth is required in order to ensure a properly aligned bite. If you are getting a fixed bridge, it will be attached with a type of dental cement to the natural teeth surrounding the space where the original tooth is missing.
How to care for Dental Bridges
Daily brushing and flossing should still be done in order to keep the teeth surrounding the bridge clean and healthy. Since those neighboring teeth provide support for the bridge, this is critically important.