When teeth are missing, dental bridges can be an effective solution. Like implants or partial dentures, a bridge not only improves the look of your smile, but also promotes the overall health of your mouth and jaw.
When large gaps are allowed to persist in your mouth, remaining teeth can begin to drift, and your bite may also change. The bone in your jaw may begin to atrophy. Cheeks and lips may lack the support they need to look natural. You may experience temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), and your friends and family may notice a difference in the way you speak. Missing teeth can even increase the likelihood you will develop cavities and gum disease.
A dental bridge is held in place by either two adjacent crowns on natural teeth, or anchored to dental implants. Available options include conventional fixed, cantilever or resin-bonded bridges. With cantilever and conventional bridges, adjacent teeth require reshaping to accommodate the crowns that will be necessary to secure a bridge. Resin-bonded bridges are often appropriate for missing front teeth, and do not require extensive reshaping of surrounding teeth. Bridges are available in a wide range of material choices, including porcelain and metal, various resilient composites, alumina and zirconia.
As a first step, Dr. Añonuevo will take a series of X-rays. An impression of the teeth will next be taken using a soft, putty-like material in a tray. This impression allows your dentist to create a three-dimensional model of your mouth that will be the template that a special laboratory will use to create your bridge.
Because this is a two-visit process, Dr. Añonuevo will create and attach a temporary bridge while your permanent bridge is being fabricated. When it is ready, he will check the fit and make sure you are satisfied with the result. At that point, Dr. Añonuevo will secure the bridge in your mouth.
The bridge may cover one or more of the gaps in your mouth, and will include one or more false teeth. If the bridge will be anchored to existing teeth, Dr. Añonuevo will prepare crowns that will be attached to adjacent teeth on either end of the bridge. The health of these teeth, as well as your gums, is an important consideration. Any issues of decay or periodontal disease must first be resolved before attachment of a dental bridge.
In cases where the anchor will be a dental implant, the procedure to secure the bridge firmly in your mouth is similar. Sometimes patients prefer a removable bridge; and the fit of this type of bridge must be carefully calibrated to ensure maximum comfort and stability.
If you would like to discuss your specific dental needs with a respected, trustworthy dentist in Charlotte, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr. Añonuevo. Please call or email Inspire Dentistry of the Carolinas today to make your appointment.