Why do I need a bridge?
A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Besides the esthetic concerns of a missing tooth, gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
How do bridges work?
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing, “bridging” the edentulous area. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
How are Crowns and Bridges Made at The Tooth Booth?
Before either a crown or a bridge is made, the tooth (or teeth) must be reduced in size so that the crown or bridge will fit over it properly. After reducing the tooth/teeth, most dentists would need to take an impression to provide an exact mold for your crown or bridge, but since The Tooth Booth is up to date on the most current, cutting edge dental technology, Dr. Hughes and staff need only to digitally scan your surrounding and opposing teeth meaning no messy, yucky impressions at The Tooth Booth in most cases. If porcelain is to be used, Dr. Hughes will determine the correct shade for the crown/bridge to match the color of your existing teeth with another of her technologies, a digital shading system which can exactly match your natural tooth shade.
With this information scanned into our Cerec technology, we can skip the temporary crown or bridge step in most cases meaning no second dental appointment (saving you time and money) since we can design and mill your bridge in office. When the bridge is ready, it is cemented over your prepared tooth or teeth.
How Long do Crowns and Bridges Last?
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste (we suggest (prescription Prevident Booster gel) twice a day and flossing daily. Also see your dentist and hygienist regularly for re-care (every 6 months for cleanings and periodic exam). To prevent damage to your new crown or bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects.