Dental Bridge

Diagram of a dental bridge from dentist office in Bend, OR.
Losing even just one tooth can have a significant impact on your life. There are many reasons why you might lose a tooth, including facial trauma, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. No matter how you lose your teeth, it's important that they are replaced right away. Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD can help with a bridge.

What are the Effects of Tooth Loss?

Losing a tooth can have several significant effects, even if the tooth cannot be seen when you smile. Effects of tooth loss include:
•  Difficulty chewing, which can impact your digestion and nutrition.
•  The development of a lisp or other speech-related issues.
•  An increased risk for cavities and periodontal disease.
•  An increased risk for tooth damage.
•  Shifting teeth. This alters your bite, impacting your smile and your oral health. It can also lead to issues like bruxism and TMJ disorder.

What is a Bridge?

A bridge is a traditional restoration that is commonly used to replace a missing tooth. There are a few different types of bridges available. The most common type, however, is the fixed bridge. This bridge, typically made from porcelain, consists of a pontic, or replacement, tooth that fills in the empty space your tooth has left behind. There are also two crowns, one on each side of the pontic tooth. The crowns fit over the adjacent healthy teeth, or abutment teeth, anchoring the bridge securely in place.

Bridge Placement

Placing your bridge typically takes two separate appointments to complete. The first appointment is designated for preparing the abutment teeth and taking the impressions needed to create your custom bridge. Preparing the abutment teeth requires that we remove a portion of the enamel from each one. This reduces the teeth in size so that the crowns will work properly over them, and your bridge will fit naturally into place. After preparing the teeth, which is done under local anesthetic, we take an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to our dental lab and used to design and create your custom bridge. While you wait for your bridge to be completed, a temporary restoration is placed. This helps to protect the abutment teeth and restore functionality for your mouth. Your second appointment occurs when your bridge has been completed. We check it for fit and bite, and bond it into place on your abutment teeth.

Benefits of a Bridge

With a bridge, you are provided many benefits. These include:
•  Restoration of biting and chewing abilities. This restores your ability to properly, and thoroughly, chew your food so that your body can more easily digest what you eat.
•  Restoration of proper speech.
•  Improved oral health. Filling in the gap prevents food and debris from getting stuck. Your teeth are also easier to keep clean, reducing your risk for cavities and periodontal disease.
•  Improved smile quality. If the missing tooth is visible, replacing it helps to restore the quality of your smile and boost your confidence.
•  Keeping adjacent teeth in alignment. Filling in the gap prevents your adjacent teeth from shifting into the space left behind by your missing tooth.

Replacing a missing tooth is essential, even it cannot be seen when you smile. If you have suffered tooth loss, call Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD today at (541) 389-0261 to schedule your consultation and find out if a bridge is a right solution for you.