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All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing, and in maintaining proper alignment of your other teeth. If you do lose teeth, replacing them is advised to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, a bridge is an option for correcting tooth loss.
A bridge - a restoration used to replace missing teeth - consists of two crowns that are permanently cemented over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Why do I need 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. Teeth were intended to compliment each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders. Most often, over time the teeth directly adjacent to the gap will migrate to close the gap, changing the way your teeth come together causing your mouth to sink and face to look older.
What does getting a bridge entail?
Getting a bridge usually requires two visits; at the first appointment your doctor will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. Since the bridge must be designed very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing teeth, a highly accurate impression is made and sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge is fabricated. A temporary bridge will be made and worn for a couple weeks while the final bridge is constructed.
At the second visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked and adjusted to ensure proper fit for its cementation.
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 critically important as the bridge relies on neighboring teeth for support.