What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge replaces missing teeth by using adjacent teeth as anchors to support missing teeth. A bridge may be used to replace one or multiple missing teeth. In some instances, a bridge can span an entire arch with just a few natural teeth present for support.
More chewing forces are placed on the supporting teeth, so it is important that the supporting teeth are healthy. Also, in order to place a bridge, some healthy tooth structure must be removed from the supporting teeth. For these reasons, implants are now often the preferred treatment for missing teeth. However, in some cases, bridges are still a better treatment option. Dr. Kirstin Wolfe, prosthodontist at Brooklyn Dental Studio, has advanced training in smile restoration, and will review which treatment options will provide optimal oral health and long term prognosis.
When is a Dental Bridge is Required?
A dental bridge treats one or more missing teeth. If left untreated, missing teeth can cause problems with biting and spacing between teeth. Missing teeth leave room for other teeth in the mouth to shift and erupt into the gap left by the non-present teeth. In some cases, TMJ may occur, causing head aches and jaw tension because of the changes in bite. The sooner missing teeth are replaced, the less likely that the surrounding teeth in the mouth will shift.
Dental Bridge: Procedure Overview
The number of appointments required for bridges may depend on the number of teeth that need to be replaced. For a three unit bridge (designed to replace a single tooth), two appointment are required. During the first visit. the adjacent teeth, which will support the bridge, are prepared, and an impression is taken. Brooklyn Dental Studio uses the 3D iTero digital impression system. This makes the procedure more comfortable and will replaces messy rubber impression material. The final stage of the first visit is placing a temporary bridge.
During the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the final bridge is tried in. The fit around the supporting teeth is examined as well as the color, contour and bite. Once these features are checked the final bridge is cemented.
Dental Bridge: Benefits of Early Treatment
When a space left by a missing tooth is present, the surrounding teeth will shift, and can cause issues with spacing and biting. If left untreated for some time, orthodontic treatment may be necessary in order to fix the bite and spacing. To avoid more costly and extensive treatment, replacing missing teeth as soon as possible is advisable.