What is a Dental Tooth Bridge?

A dental tooth bridge is a false tooth cemented to surrounding teeth; a bridge remains in place whereas dentures can be removed daily.  Your dentist may suggest a dental bridge valparaiso indiana as a treatment plan if you are suffering from:

  • Tooth decay too large to be treated with a filling
  • A broken tooth
  • A damaged tooth
  • A missing tooth
  • A weak tooth

In order for the bridge to work successfully in your mouth, your surrounding teeth and gums need to be healthy and free from disease. Just like you would not replace one section of a deteriorating fence, the dentist will not want to replace one tooth if the whole area of the mouth needs to additional dental procedures and replacements.

How do Bridges Work?

When you have a missing tooth or the majority of a tooth missing from your smile, the remaining teeth will eventually shift or rotate with the additional room.  The shifting can cause your bite to shift; your bad bite can give you mild pain and discomfort or become more serious temporomandibular joint disorders.  To really give you another good reason to take action, the missing tooth can lead to gum disease and decay of the more exposed teeth.

Bridges are used to replace the missing teeth and prevent these more expensive and painful complications.  The false teeth take the place of the missing tooth and are attached to the surrounding teeth.  The false tooth is referred to as the pontic and the surrounding teeth that anchor the bridge are called the abutments.  There are a number of attachment approaches and materials allowing dentists to use the dental bridge technique to replace teeth in most locations in your mouth.  Typically, porcelain and ceramic are used for their strength and ability to match the color of your natural teeth. Once you and the dentist determine that a dental bridge is the best treatment plan for you, you can discuss the different ways to cement the bridge into place and the different materials available.

How are Bridges Made?

In order for the pontic to be secured into place, the surrounding teeth need to be prepared for crowns to act as the abutments.  The teeth will be reduced in size and the dentist will make an impression for a perfect custom-fitting crown.  The dentist will help choose the right color for the abutments and pontic to match seamlessly with your other teeth.  The impressions will be sent out to a dental lab where your bridge will be fabricated.  While you are waiting for your permanent bridge, the dentist will place a temporary bridge to protect your teeth.  Once your bridge is sent back to the dental office, the dentist will cement the permanent bridge into place.  You will walk out of the office with a new, complete smile.

How Long do Crowns and Bridges Last?

With twice daily brushing and regular in office cleaning, your bridge will last many years.  The dentist will review with you the best way to take care of your bridge at home with adjusted flossing techniques.  Preventing gum disease and tooth decay will help keep your teeth and bone holding your bridge in place healthy.

More on Dental Bridges : Types of Dental Bridges

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Our office is conveniently located in Valparaiso, IN. Many of our patients are from the surrounding Northwest Indiana areas: Valparaiso, Chesterton, Portage, Hobart, Merrillville, Schererville, Kouts, Highland, Munster, La Porte, Michigan City, South Bend, and Crown Point. Patients also travel from Chicago, Ohio and Southwest Michigan.