Dental bridges are used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. If you are missing a tooth, or multiple teeth in a row, a dental bridge may be recommended. Missing teeth in your mouth is a serious issue. Teeth are meant to work together and when one or more is missing the surrounding teeth can tilt or drift into the open space. This causes multiple problems. It can affect your bite and place stress on your teeth and jaw joints, causing pain and damage. Teeth that have tipped or moved into the space of a missing tooth become harder to clean. Also when a tooth is missing the bone that surrounded the tooth resorbs or melts away. The resorption of the bone may leave the lips and cheeks unsupported causing the face to look sunken in.
A dental bridge is a fixed restoration, meaning it is non-removable. It is anchored into place through the use of two crowns on either side of the missing tooth/teeth. These crowns hold an artificial tooth or teeth in place, creating a bridge to fill the space of the missing tooth or teeth. These crowns can be placed on existing teeth or on implants.
The placement of a bridge usually requires two dental appointments. During the first appointment the dentist will prep the two anchor teeth just as would be done for a crown. Next a dental impression will be taken. This will be sent to the lab that will make a custom bridge to fit your needs. Dr. Wahlstrom will place a temporary bridge over the prepped area until the permanent bridge is fabricated.