All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing, and maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose teeth, they must be replaced to maintain proper oral function. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss. 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 including eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance. This extremely reliable technique for repairing the most severe dental problems can permanently replace missing teeth to offer a complete smile and a functional bite.
A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device used to replace missing teeth that fills the gap where teeth are absent. It attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment or retainer teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges), or they can be removable.
- Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth.
- Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional.
- Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts
- Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments.
- Removable bridges, as the name implies, can be taken out and cleaned.
Why do I need a bridge?
- Optimal dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.
- Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge.
- A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks.
- 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 because teeth contribute to clear speech.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be constructed from gold 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, because the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support. If something happens to one of the abutment teeth, all the teeth attached to that bridge are affected.