Dental Bridges for Missing Teeth
When you have a tooth that is completely missing, it can do more than just impair your smile, it can lead to trouble eating, talking, and even distort the rest of your teeth as they shift to fill the gap. And while a crown may repair a damaged tooth, it isn’t enough to replace one that’s gone missing in its entirety. For that level of severity, one of the most reliable methods of repair is bridgework.
Dental bridges are essentially a series of at least three crowns connected to each other. The center crowns (known as pontics) cover the gap of the missing teeth while the two on the end (called abutments) attach to your healthy teeth to support the bridge. The final effect is a completely naturally looking series of replacement teeth that function just like the real ones.
Alaska Dental Associates has provided the people of Anchorage dental bridges for years, and it would be our honor to help you regain your smile.
What Problems Do Bridges Solve?
The human dental structure is very intricate, complicated, and interdependent. Though the teeth have various shapes and sizes, they all coordinate together to provide all the functions of the mouth that we take for granted.
So naturally, if even one tooth is damaged or displaced, it affects the whole set. Missing teeth can have a wide range of adverse and unwanted effects, such as the inability to chew food, speak properly, and keep your teeth clean. Furthermore, in the absence of teeth, your jawbone will actually begin to deteriorate, which can itself lead to cosmetic and functional issues.
Troubles like these can easily be fixed with dental bridgework, so there’s no reason to let your missing teeth fester and destroy the rest of your oral health.
How Many Teeth Can a Bridge Cover?
Bridges are ideal for patients who are missing between one and three teeth in a row. If you are missing four or more adjacent teeth, you may be better suited for dental implants. This is because the pontics that serve as replacements for the missing teeth have no underlying support. They are only held in place by the abutments on the ends. If the bridge gets too long, the pontics will lack in durability.
Dental implants, on the other hand, replace the missing tooth with a strong underlying structure, making them the ideal choice for mouths that don’t qualify for bridgework.
The process of getting a dental bridge is similar to getting a dental crown and involves more than one visit to the dentist’s office.
At the first visit, Dr. Triggs will take an impression of the missing teeth to later create a mold for the dental bridge. The abutment teeth will also be prepared at this point. This involves removing the enamel and shaping the teeth so that they can fit a crown. For this procedure, local anesthesia is used to minimize pain. Because the permanent crowns will need time to be created, you’ll receive a temporary bridge until your second appointment.
On the second visit to the dentist, the bridge is attached by the dentist using dental cement. The abutment teeth give the overall support to the bridge, while the pontic fills the gap of missing teeth. The pontic itself is just like any other crown save that it doesn’t have a tooth beneath it.
Caring for Your Dental Bridge in Anchorage
Aftercare for dental bridges is not a complicated affair, but it does require your diligence. All you have to do is maintain proper dental hygiene: brush twice a day, floss daily, minimize sugary drinks and candy, and keep up with your dental cleanings and exams. Remember that oral hygiene is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got to be in it for the long haul or you’re bound to tire out and damage your new bridgework.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Missing teeth can’t be neglected. If they aren’t hurting your self-confidence, they’re still interfering with how you speak, what you can eat, and your overall oral health.
Dental bridges are one of the easiest ways to repair lost teeth, and Dr. Triggs and the team at Alaska Dental Associates have been restoring smiles to the people of Anchorage and the surrounding area for three decades. Give us a call today and set up an appointment to set your teeth back on track with dental bridgework.