Dental Bridges

All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose teeth they must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.

Dental Bridge Options

A dental bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches a replacement tooth to natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are permanently attached (fixed bridges).

Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.

What exactly is a dental bridge or fixed partial denture?

A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device which fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts.

Why do I need a dental bridge?

Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older.

Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders.

Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.

Missing teeth can cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.

How is a dental bridge made?

A bridge fabrication usually takes two appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Frank will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.

Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, digital images of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab immediately where the bridge will be constructed.

Dr. Frank uses digital technology via CEREC to send an image and design instantaneously to a lab without need or worry of traditional mold impression and potential distortion causing error.

Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic replaces the lost tooth. Dental crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support and connection for the bridge.

What materials are used for dental bridges?

Bridges can be constructed from ceramics, zirconia or precious metals.

How do I take care of my bridge?

A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.