You may have heard people talk about their “bridgework”, and while that term is a bit old-fashioned now, many of our clients at Brighton Dental here in San Diego benefit from fixed bridges to fill the spaces left behind by missing teeth. Porcelain and similar fixed bridges restore the look of natural teeth and restore complete function as well – with no surgery.
In fact, there are several kinds of bridges, and Dr. Woods can help you decide which type is best for your unique situation. The most common type of dental bridge is a metal based with porcelain fused over it.
Some General Info On Bridges
In the simplest setup, a bridge involves placing a crown over the teeth on each side of the empty space left behind from the extraction of one or more teeth. Artificial teeth called pontics are attached to the crowns in a variety of ways. These teeth fill the space, restoring function, keeping teeth from spreading and providing the look of natural teeth as well.
You can expect your bridge or bridges to be durable and last for many years, although no dental restoration lasts forever. You may need the bridge re-cemented at some point – and replacement will eventually be necessary.
A fixed bridge of one type or another is the right choice for these situations:
• When you want to restore function where a tooth or teeth are missing
• When you want to restore the shape of your face that has been changed by missing teeth
• When teeth are in danger of drifting out of position due to missing teeth
• When you want to be able to chew and speak properly again
• When you want your natural-looking, beautiful smile back
• When you want to upgrade from a removable partial denture
• And in other cases too.
You should know that there are circumstances when a bridge may not be a good idea. If the tooth on each side of your missing tooth or teeth is in good condition with no decay or trauma, putting a crown on it to support a bridge might not be the best idea. A lot of healthy tooth would need to be removed to place the crown, and that might do more harm than good. In this case, you might prefer a partial denture or one or more dental implants. Implants are smaller than ever before and require much less healing than in the past, making them a better option than in past years.
Deciding If A Bridge Is Right For You
Dr. Woods can help you with every dental choice, so you’re never alone when deciding what to do to improve your dental and oral health and restore beauty and function. In the case of a bridge, you’ll need to come in for two or more appointment. We’ll numb the anchoring teeth, remove some enamel to prepare for the bridge and make impressions to send to a dental lab. Temporary crowns will be fitted and a temporary bridge may be provided to use until the final appointment for the fitting of the lab-made bridge.
Taking care of a bridge is easy, but it’s a little different than taking care of natural teeth. We’ll explain and discuss with you everything you need to know.
Learn more about this topic on the Porcelain Fixed Bridges page of this website. We also welcome you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Woods and learn about your dental and oral health and how we can help you with your needs. We’re here for you at Brighton Dental in San Diego, and we want to serve you. Why not contact us now?