What are bridges
Your jaw bones, muscle and teeth form integral parts of an amazing mechanical device. These parts fit together naturally and any damage to one part can over time cause damage to the others through misalignment and uneven application of bite force. The loss of a tooth is a perfect example of a situation where the remaining teeth can get out of alignment causing further damage to other teeth as well as the jaw joints, and in many cases even causing alterations to speech.
Bridges offer one of several options to replace one or more missing teeth lost to disease. As its name implies, it is an artificial tooth attached to a structure that is in turn attached to the two adjacent teeth. Bridges come in two forms, either permanent or removable. While removable bridges are designed to be removed by the patient, permanent bridges can only be removed with a visit to a dental office.
The successful installation of a quality dental bridge requires at least two and sometimes three or more visits to the office. The first visit involves preparing the adjacent teeth for receiving the bridge attachment by removing part of the enamel and deting, and also creating impressions necessary for a lab to fabricate the bridge. The second appointment is when the bridge is installed. Due to the complicated nature of a bridge construction, additional appointments are occasionally necessary create a bridge that fits perfectly.
Drawbacks of Bridges
While a significant improvement over a missing tooth, bridges do have the drawback of requiring attachment to abutment teeth through crowns or other mechanism. This causes damage to these teeth that may otherwise be completely healthy.
Alternatives to bridges are dental implants which, while more complicated, result in improved structural integrity as well as appearance, all without damaging the abutment teeth. These require the expertise of an oral surgeon and we work with a handful of incredible professionals who treat our patients with the same degree of care and professionalism we do.