If you have a missing tooth or multiple teeth, a dental bridge may be your preferred solution. A bridge is an artificial tooth, known as a pontic, that is held in place by the adjacent teeth on either side, called the abutment teeth. Erik P. Cadra DMD has a skilled team ready to help you on your way to a restored smile. We can provide the right choice in a bridge to best suit your particular condition.
Reasons for Choosing Bridgework
The main reason most people choose to have a bridge is restoring the ability to chew properly. An empty space in your teeth presents a challenge when eating, and a bridge can remove that challenge. A bridge can also redistribute your bite force, facilitating more comfortable chewing. It can prevent the adjacent teeth from gradually drifting out of their correct position. Finally, you may want a bridge to maintain the shape of your face and the appearance of your smile. Missing teeth can result in a sunken appearance, so this may also be a matter of an aesthetic choice.
Different Ways to Bridge the Gap
There are three types of dental bridges commonly used, and the first is the traditional type. In this method, the pontic is held in place by crowns placed on either side, on the abutment teeth. The second method is the cantilever, which is similar to the traditional, but uses only one abutment tooth. Finally, the Maryland or bonded method uses the two adjacent teeth as support, but uses a framework of porcelain or metal bonded to the back sides of the support teeth instead of dental crowns.
In order to place the bridge, the two abutment teeth must first be prepared. Material is removed from these teeth and they are reshaped to allow the crowns to be fitted. Once in place, the bridge may be attached, forming a restored and functional row of teeth.
Another option for supporting the bridge is through the use of implants. This is particularly appropriate when there are several adjacent missing teeth. A group of four teeth may be supported by two implants, for example, placed in the locations of the two missing end teeth. This is the strongest option available, but does involve more extensive work, time, and number of appointments.
The best thing you can do to ensure the long life and performance of your bridge is to maintain proper oral hygiene. The surrounding teeth need to remain strong in order to provide the support needed, so brush and floss properly to keep them in their best condition.
With your new bridge in place, you will enjoy the full function of your teeth again. Eating will be easier, your speech can be clearer, and you will enjoy the added confidence that a full set of teeth can bring. With proper care, your bridge can last fifteen years or longer.
Erik P. Cadra DMD is your best choice for the design, fabrication, and placement of your bridge. Our team is ready to help restore your full dental function and enhance your appearance. Call us at 661-502-6990 to find out more about a new bridge for you.