Whether you have a single missing tooth or many missing teeth, it is far more than a cosmetic issue. If left untreated, you may begin to experience changes in your bite, a shifting of your teeth, and even serious dental issues such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). You may also experience speech issues and will be at an overall increased risk of both tooth decay and tooth and gum disease. A dental bridge acts as a replacement for your missing teeth, and prevent these serious dental complications from occurring.
Dental Bridge Planning
Once it has been decided that a dental bridge is the best option for your missing teeth, a dentist will advise of you different materials that the dental labs can use for restoration. The material available for your specific treatment will depend on whether or not you have bruxism, if you have and what your dental coverage is, and any other factors pointed out by your dentist. Dental bridges can be made from several different metals and materials, ranging from porcelain and metal all the way up to zirconia or alumina.
In order to plan the correct procedure, your dentist will take digital x-rays and make impressions of any areas requiring a bridge. The process can take one or more units to complete depending on the number of teeth that are consecutively missing. A bridge could be three or more units, consisting of two crowns permanently attached to the teeth and on both sides of the empty space, plus one or more false teeth. Your dentist may make additional impressions as he or she prepares for the bridge.
Creating and Placing Your Dental Bridge
Once it is determined you are a candidate, your teeth and gums will be numbed so that your dentist can prepare your existing teeth to support the crowns that will anchor the bridge. In some cases your dentist may have to rebuild your teeth if they are badly decayed or worn down.
The next step is for your dentist to take impressions of your teeth with a dental resin. These impressions will be used to create a model of the teeth and the gap between them. A skilled technician will be in charge of making the model of your bridge to ensure that the bridge fits correctly and comfortably. It is important for the overall health of the mouth that the bridge fits right.
While your custom dental bridge is created in the lab, Dr. De Paoli will give you a temporary restoration to protect your teeth and the underlying gums from damage until your restoration is ready. A second visit will be required in order to complete the procedure and have them properly fitted and then cemented.
Read more about dental bridges.