Bridge Over Troubled Gums
- Posted on: Aug 30 2018
Often a person will lose a tooth, either to trauma or decay, and they will opt to simply leave the gap in their teeth. This is especially true if the missing tooth is a molar, which isn’t readily seen by others. After all, it’s just a single tooth, right? An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
The gap isn’t the problem, it’s the other teeth. Like fans in packed bleachers at a Newton Tigers game, when the person between two people leave, the remaining people tend to slide over into the gap. This is just what your teeth do because they no longer have the pressure from the adjacent teeth to stay in place. This causes issues with your bite and overall tooth alignment.
While at Cosmetic Dentistry Center we believe dental implants are the best solution to replace missing teeth, sometimes patients prefer the option of the less involved solution of a bridge.
What is a bridge?
Like the Tobin Memorial, a dental bridge simply spans a gap from a missing tooth or teeth. Bridges are anchored with a crown on the healthy teeth on each side of the missing tooth, with an artificial tooth (called a pontic) in the middle. The adjacent teeth on each side are the abutment teeth. Bridges can be made of a variety of materials, but the most common bridge materials we use at Cosmetic Dentistry Center are porcelain and ceramic.
How is a bridge placed?
When we opt for a bridge for our patients at Cosmetic Dentistry Center, the first step is to prepare the abutment teeth. We remove some of each of the two abutment teeth to make room for crowns to be placed atop both teeth. We then take dental impressions. The bridge will be a single piece, with crowns on both sides and the pontic or pontics in between. If the bridge is very simple, we may be able to use our in-house CEREC system to fabricate it. Otherwise, we send the impressions to a dental lab to create your bridge.
When your bridge is finished we check the fit and the color match of your bridge. If everything looks good, we cement the crowns down onto your abutment teeth and you’re good to go.
The lifespan of a bridge is variable, usually lasting from 5-15 years, but they can last longer than that. Crowns can last the rest of your life, if you practice good home hygiene. Any decay on the abutment teeth, however, can cause a bridge to become loose. Also, the overall bridge may break down with wear and stress over the years, contributing to its eventual need for replacement.
If you’re missing a tooth, don’t pretend like you play for the Bruins; get it replaced with a dental implant or a bridge. Call the team at Cosmetic Dentistry Center, (617) 965-7673, to make an appointment.
Posted in: Bridges