When you have a gap caused by a missing tooth, one of the most common treatments is to replace the missing tooth with a bridge. A bridge is a common dental restoration that can replace one or more missing teeth by literally bridging the gap left behind. A dental bridge is a false tooth anchored to neighbouring teeth, essentially bridging the gap.
Missing a tooth and having a gap in between your teeth isn’t just unsightly, it can cause other problems. Talking and chewing may be difficult. Teeth adjacent to the space will eventually begin to shift into the empty space which will affect your bite, may lead to gum disease and possibly even jaw joint disorders like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.
To connect the bridge to the neighboring natural teeth must be shaved/filed down in order to provide space for the crowns to correctly align with opposing teeth. The natural teeth must be relatively healthy (structurally sound and free from decay) for this to work. The biggest downside in this process is that it is irreversible. Once the natural teeth are modified, they cannot be used as regular teeth ever again.
If you need to replace more than three consecutive teeth, you might be better suited to a partial denture.
Bridges are made of several different types of materials. Gold, alloy, porcelain or a combination of all of them. At Wappingers Dental Arts we have the experience and expertise to bring together the various advanced dental disciplines required to create dental bridges that not only look great but they function correctly, are healthy and will last for many years to come.
One of the most critical skills in the placement of a dental bridge is to create the illusion that the missing tooth emerges from gum just like a natural tooth. Our skills in cosmetic dentistry and gum manipulation can combine ensure anyone will hardly notice that you ever had a missing tooth!
Most people who are missing one or more natural teeth are suitable candidates for dental bridges. The type of bridge that is most appropriate depends primarily on which tooth or teeth are missing, as well as the health and structural integrity of the adjacent teeth.
Traditional bridges: These are the most common dental bridges. They involve creating a crown for the abutment tooth on either side of the missing tooth, with a replacement tooth (pontic) in between. Traditional bridges are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramic.
Cantilever bridges: In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever dental bridge may be used. A cantilever dental bridge is when the “false tooth” is only supported on one side.
Maryland bonded bridges: This dental bridge is most commonly used to bridge front teeth together. The Maryland bridge technique, named after the University of Maryland Dental School where it was developed, uses metal or resin “wings” on each side of the bridge that are bonded to the existing teeth. A Maryland bonded bridge is also called a resin-bonded bridge. The main benefit of this type of dental bridge is that healthy teeth either side need either minimal or no preparation.
Implant-supported dental bridges: these bridges are recommended if you’re missing more than one tooth. This technique involves the placement of two or more dental implants with space between them. These implants serve as the abutments (anchors) for the permanently cemented bridgework. Dental implants provide a solid support for the bridge.
Implants go directly inside the jawbone. Therefore, patients who are considering an implant-supported bridge must have enough healthy bone volume to support the posts. Since bone degeneration is a common side effect of tooth loss, our dentist will conduct a complete examination to determine a patient’s candidacy for an implant-supported bridge. Our dentist might use x-rays or CT scans to obtain a more accurate idea of a your facial structure.
What should I do if I am interested in getting a dental bridge to hide a missing tooth?
Make an appointment to see us and discuss with our dentist what needs to be done to hide your missing tooth. We will explain the process of how a dental bridge works. If you are comfortable then we can proceed. If not a dental implant may be more suitable.