What is a dental bridge?
The dental appliance that's known as a "bridge" got its name because it "bridges" the gap between your missing teeth. In between your healthy teeth (a.k.a. abutment teeth) new, prosthetic (a.k.a. pontic) teeth are anchored. These pontics are typically composed of ceramic, but sometimes alloys, porcelain, gold, or a combination of materials is used to create a completely function tooth.
Types of Bridges
Fixed bridges are the most common type of bridge. Here your pontic tooth will sit between the two crowns that are used to anchor it to your abutment teeth. We must first prepare your abutment teeth as though they were about to get crowns.
Resin-bonded (a.k.a. Maryland) bridges are also common. They use porcelain or zirconia “wings” instead of crowns to fix themselves to your abutment teeth. Instead of trimming your teeth, cement is used to hold these bridges onto the back of the abutment teeth. This is beneficial in that it allows your healthy teeth to remain whole.
Benefits of Bridges
There are many great benefits to getting bridges. These will not only restore your smile and improve your self-confidence, but they'll also improve other aspects of your life. By preventing your healthy, natural teeth from shifting, your bite remains evenly distributed. This means you'll be able to eat properly, whereas when you didn't have a full set of teeth, you probably found it difficult to chew, which hurt your digestion and nutrition. Additionally, you'll find you're able to speak better too. All this helps keep your other teeth even and healthy, so you can avoid developing any other oral health issues.
Getting Your Bridge
Completion of your bridge will require at least two office visits for you to be properly fitted with a new anterior bridge. During your first visit of the procedure, we will trim down or ‘prepare’ the supporting abutment teeth and take impression for the lab. We will also take photographs and make a shade map to help design the bridge colors and contours. You will be fitted with a temporary bridge to wear while the final restoration is being made.
During your second visit, your bridge will be fitted in your mouth and evaluated and adjusted. If we are pleased with the fit and look of the bridge, it will be cemented or fixed to the teeth. If we feel the bridge requires additional modifications, we may need to return the bridge to the lab and schedule an additional appointment. When we are able to deliver your bridge, we'll make sure you feel comfortable so that you'll be able to smile naturally and use your teeth normally before leaving our office. You'll also be instructed on how to care for your new bridge, which isn't any different from caring for your natural teeth.
When you're ready to get your bridge, call Phillips Prosthodontics at 336-274-5400 to set up an appointment.