Missing teeth can cause challenges for our patients. Difficulty biting and chewing, communicating, and poor self-image are among the most common. Dr. Brumbach has many ways to replace missing teeth, and an effective technique is a dental bridge.
What Is A Dental Bridge?
Typically, abutment teeth are also crowned in order to provide the support needed for the placement of the bridge. We normally follow the same process we use for placing a crown. First, we remove a layer of enamel from the abutment tooth. This creates enough space for the crown to completely cover the tooth while still keeping its natural appearance. The crowns on the surrounding abutment teeth are then attached to the pontic (false) tooth between them. The pontic is essentially just another crown; the difference is that there is no tooth underneath.
How We Build a Bridge
If you have a single missing tooth, your bridgework will consist of three crowns. Two of the crowns will cover the surrounding abutment teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth. The two crowned abutment teeth will then become stabilizers for a third crown placed in between them, filling in the empty space. This arrangement is known as a three-unit bridge (shown in the illustration).
If more than one tooth is missing, we will need to add additional crowns in order to close the gaps in between surrounding abutment teeth. In some cases, we may need to utilize more abutment teeth. There are several factors that we consider in deciding how many abutment teeth we will need to utilize. We consider the number of teeth that are missing, the size and length of the roots of the abutment teeth, the level of bone support for each abutment tooth, and the location of the missing teeth.
Each case is different, and Dr. Brumbach considers each patient on a case-by-case basis.
What You Should Expect
Bridgework is broken up into two different office visits. During the first visit, Dr. Brumbach will prepare your abutment teeth as described above, using local anesthesia to minimize any discomfort. Then, we make a three-dimensional mold of your teeth using an impression material or by taking a digital scan. The 3D models of your teeth will assist the dental lab techs in creating your crowns.
While the dental lab techs are creating your crowns, we will give you a temporary bridge to wear. During your second visit, we will remove the temporary bridge and cement your permanent bridge in place. Some patients may experience a short transition period as they become used to the feel of the new bridge in their mouths.
It is important to note that your crowned teeth require the same daily care as the rest of your other teeth. For instance, make sure you regularly brush and floss every day to prevent plaque build-up around your bridge. It is also crucial to maintain a regular schedule of professional cleanings at our office.
Call our office today to set up an appointment with Dr. Zach Brumbach and his dental professional team to help you with your dental bridges.