All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose a tooth it often should be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss at our Sammamish dentistry office, including dental bridges and crowns.
Dental Bridge Options
A dental bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called retainer teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges), or they can be removable (removable partial denture).
Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the retainer teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the retainer teeth. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Getting a dental bridge at our Sammamish dentistry office is a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.
Why do I need a dental bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your bite to collapse and your face to look older.
Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing.
Missing teeth can cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
How is a dental bridge attached?
The bridge procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment at our Sammamish dentistry office, Dr. Quickstad or Dr. Wang will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be fabricated. It usually takes about two weeks for the laboratory to make your new bridge. During that time you will have a temporary bridge that will hold the space for the permanent restoration.
When the bridge is ready to be seated, it will be checked for an exact fit and comfortable bite. When the bridge has been determined to fit properly, it will be cemented to the retainer teeth using a permanent cement. You will be taught to clean your bridge so that it will last you many years.
What materials are used for dental bridges?
Bridges can be constructed from Zirconia or gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.
How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.