WHAT IS A BRIDGE?
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for… support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BRIDGES?
Although implants are an extremely viable option for replacing missing teeth, they can be expensive, and are sometimes not practical, especially if the 2 teeth adjacent to a gap need to be crowned. In that situation, bridges are a great way to fix a gap in your smile! The benefits of bridges are that they can fill most gaps, last a long time, and they look great when done by the expert doctors at our office.
WHY IS A BRIDGE IMPORTANT AS A REPLACEMENT FOR A MISSING TOOTH?
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction of bad things. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to “fall.” As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.