Tooth loss is when one or more tooth is lost or extracted due to trauma, tooth decay or gum disease. Apart from having an effect on aesthetics, tooth loss can also cause functional problems. Anyone missing a tooth may find it difficult to speak, bite or eat well. If you are considering tooth replacement, a dental bridge may be one option for you.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed prosthesis which can restore your smile, help chew, speak and prevent other teeth from drifting caused by a missing tooth. As the name suggests, a dental bridge is a fixed prosthesis which connects a missing tooth to the two teeth on either side. There are many different kind of bridges. Most commonly these are made from ceramic or porcelain fused to metal. Your dentist will be able to determine what is most suitable to you. Unlike removable partial dentures, a bridge is permanent and fixed. You do not have to remove them to clean which can be done as part of your normal oral hygiene.
What is involved in making a dental bridge?
In the first visit, your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side of the missing tooth) for a crown. Impressions will be made and sent to a dental laboratory for fabrication of your bridge. A temporary bridge will be cemented until such time your permanent bridge is fabricated.
In the second visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent bridge will be cemented upon satisfactory fit.
How long will a dental bridge last?
A dental bridge can last up to many years if cared for regularly at home and regular professional exams.
Caring for your dental bridge
Think of your dental bridge as your permanent teeth. Brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste. Clean the interdental surface with a floss. Regular dental exam and professional cleaning will reduce the risk of tooth decay and/or gum disease and improve the longevity of your dental bridge.