If you have lost only one or two teeth, you might not think it's a big deal. The truth is, however, that tooth loss, no matter how insignificant it may seem, has a large impact on your daily activities. Missing teeth affect your ability to completely chew your food, which can actually lead to problems digesting and absorbing nutrients. The event also affects your ability to speak, as the flow of air moves more freely. A single missing tooth, especially one that is visible can affect your appearance, and may even make you self-conscious. At Downtown Dental Care, we care about your mouth and want it to be as healthy as possible so you can be healthy and happy. One way in which we can solve the issue of a missing tooth or two is with a dental bridge.
What is Dental Bridge?
A bridge is an appliance that replaces your missing teeth. It can be used to replace a single tooth, or it can be used to replace more. In the most common type of bridge, a fixed bridge, pontic teeth (which are the false teeth) are situated between two crowns, which anchor on to the surrounding healthy, abutment, teeth. Another type of bridge, known as a maryland bridge (or resin bonded bridge) attaches pontic teeth to your surrounding healthy teeth by bonding metal "wings" to them. Bridges are usually made out of ceramic, for the material's ability to match the color of your natural teeth, although they may also be made of gold, metal, porcelain fused to metal or porcelain.
How Does Getting a Bridge Work?
Getting a bridge usually requires two visits to the office. During the first visit, if you are having a traditional fixed bridge, the tooth is trimmed (filed) down the two surrounding teeth to which the crowns will be mounted upon. A local anesthetic will be used to help with any discomfort. Next, an impression is taken, and a color guide is used (for ceramic bridges) to match the color of the natural teeth. The impression and the color information are sent off to a lab that will create your custom bridge, a process that often takes between one and two weeks. On the second visit, the bridge is checked for fit, comfort and color and finally cemented into place.
In our office, we use CEREC technology. CEREC allows us to shorten your wait time and give you a bridge in one visit. After preparing the abutment teeth, Dr. Christianson takes a digital impression. This impression is used for the technology to create a custom fit bridge. There is no need for a second visit and the bridge is more precise.
Benefits of Bridges
Having a bridge to replace a missing tooth (or several teeth) has many benefits:
You can eat easier, and without worry of food getting lodged.
Speaking becomes normal again.
You don't have to worry about your adjacent teeth shifting into the empty space and throwing off your bite.
Your smile is restored to its full beauty.
Don't let a missing tooth or two go untreated because you think it's no big deal. Call us today at (503) 420-7600 to schedule your consultation!