Even a single missing tooth can affect the alignment of your teeth and make everyday tasks like chewing food and talking uncomfortable and awkward. At West Brazos Dental Center, in West Columbia, Texas, the team of experienced family dentists performs bridge installations, helping to restore the function and appearance of missing, damaged, and decayed teeth. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.
A dental bridge, as the name suggests, “bridges” the gap left by a missing tooth. It’s a fixed appliance that uses the surrounding teeth around a missing tooth for support. You can get a bridge to replace one missing tooth or even multiple missing teeth that had been next to each other.
Your dentist can use natural or artificial teeth as the abutment, or anchor teeth, to support the bridge. If the anchors are natural, your dentist places crowns, or caps, over them. If you’re only replacing one missing tooth, and the teeth on both sides of the gap are healthy, your dentist simply attaches the bridge to them.
If you’re missing multiple consecutive teeth, or you have damaged teeth on either side of a missing tooth, your dentist may first install implants, replacement roots that securely support artificial teeth. Then, the artificial teeth, or crowns, can provide support for a bridge.
You may not think of one missing tooth as a major issue. However, that’s enough to interfere with speaking and chewing food. It can even cause your other teeth to shift out of place and change the shape of your face. Be sure to schedule an appointment at West Brazos Dental Center to learn about your options for replacing missing teeth.
A bridge placement requires two appointments at West Brazos Dental Center. At the first appointment, your dentist takes impressions of your teeth, so an outside dental lab can design the replacement tooth or teeth. Your dentist also removes a small portion of the enamel from the surrounding abutment teeth so they can fit the crowns and bridge.
While you wait for your permanent bridge to be made, you receive a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums. At the second appointment, your dentist fits and bonds your bridge to your teeth. You come in for a follow-up appointment a few weeks later to ensure your teeth and gums are adapting well to the bridge and receive any necessary adjustments.
Though any dental procedure requires some adjusting, a dental bridge feels and acts much like natural teeth. You can eat all the same foods that you can enjoy with a full set of natural teeth. You should also find that it’s easier to talk than it was before receiving the bridge.
Be sure to brush and floss regularly and get regular dental checkups at West Brazos Dental Center. A bridge can last 5-15 years, sometimes longer, with good oral hygiene and care.
To learn more about dental bridges, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at West Brazos Dental Center.