When someone loses a tooth it can create a number of immediate and down-the-road issues. At first, the problem may not seem too severe, especially if it isn’t noticeable when speaking. But the fact of the matter is that a problem like this should never be ignored. This type of dental health situation can cause difficulty chewing and speaking, and can lead to shifting of the teeth and further tooth loss.
Dental bridges are a quick and convenient method to take care of the problem. Our oral health practitioners here at Thomas Plunkett, DMD have years of experience placing these dental appliances and would be glad to help you find out if this method of treatment would be right for you.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A bridge is an artificial tooth, also called a pontic, which fills the gap left when the real tooth falls out or is lost due to an accident or injury. It is held in place by the abutment teeth, which are on each side. They can be made of a number of different materials, but are usually porcelain. This helps the false tooth to blend in and look more natural.
What Does a Bridge Do?
Bridges fill not only the void which is left by the missing tooth; they also assume the functions of the tooth as well. In addition to helping with the basic purposes such as chewing, they also serve an aesthetic role, particularly when multiple teeth have been lost. When you are missing teeth, it affects the appearance of the mouth, even from the outside. Things like sunken cheeks and a protruding chin are just a couple of examples.
Various Types of Bridges
There are four main types of bridges which are used in most cases. These are traditional, cantilever, Maryland and implant-supported. Traditional bridges are held in place by crowns which are bonded onto both of the abutment teeth. Cantilevers are cemented onto only one abutment tooth. Maryland bridges also use both abutment teeth, but instead of crowns they employ a framework of porcelain or metal which is bonded onto the back of the abutment teeth. Finally, implant-supported bridges are anchored to the implant itself rather than the surrounding teeth. Our dental experts will discuss which option is right for your individual situation.
What to Expect From the Procedure
A bridge placement is performed over two separate visits. The first one is where the abutment teeth will be prepared to receive the bridge. Impressions of the teeth will be made to ensure the proper fit and a temporary bridge will be put in place while the lab creates the permanent one. During the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new one is placed, checked and adjusted to make sure of a proper fit. Depending on the individual, it may require additional visits to make sure everything works and fits correctly.
Don’t let the discomfort and poor functionality of a missing tooth develop into a more serious problem by failing to have it taken care of immediately. Simply give our dental health professionals here at Thomas Plunkett, DMD a call today to find out more about how we can help. Our offices can be reached by dialing 863-372-1010.