When faced with the issue of losing a tooth, a dental bridge is one of the most popular choices in correcting the loss. A bridge is fabricated to match surrounding teeth and used to close the gap from the loss of one more teeth.
The teeth on either side of the space to be filled are referred to as the abutment teeth. The tooth or teeth that will fill the center of the bridge are called pontics. Your dentist will need to take impressions that will be used to design the bridge.
Your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth very much like teeth that are to be crowned. A temporary bridge will be placed while your permanent bridge is being fabricated by the dental lab. When the bridge is ready to be placed, your dentist will attach the unit and make adjustments to maximize comfort and appearance.
Once you and your dentist are satisfied with the fit and appearance of your bridge, the anchor crowns will be permanently cemented to the abutment teeth. At that time, your dental bridge becomes a permanent part of your dental anatomy. Adjustments can be anticipated during the first few weeks as you acclimate to your new bridge.
Caring for your dental bridge is as easy as caring for your own teeth. Daily flossing and brushing will help keep teeth and gum tissue healthy to avoid further tooth loss. Dental decay is always a concern in teeth that support the bridge so keeping them healthy is crucial to the long life of your bridge.
There are different types of dental bridges. Based on your needs, your dentist might feel it is best to place an implant to help anchor your bridge. Or based on the location of tooth loss, your dentist might recommend a cantilever bridge, which is a bridge that is affixed in place by attaching to only one support tooth.
No matter what type of bridge you and your dentist determine is best for you, replacing the lost tooth will enhance your ability to eat, speak and smile with confidence.
If you would like to find out how dental bridges can benefit your smile, contact our skilled and dedicated dental team serving San Antonio to schedule a consultation.