A dental bridge is a prosthetic tooth (or teeth) that attaches on one or both sides to teeth prepared with dental crowns. A fixed bridge is permanently joined onto the neighboring abutment teeth (crowned teeth) and consists of three basic units: the false tooth or teeth (called a pontic) and two abutment crowns. The style of bridge we suggest will depend upon the strength and health the abutment teeth, as well as the location of the gap in relation to the rest of your teeth. If healthy adjacent abutment teeth are not available, a surgically-implanted metal post, known as a dental implant, may offer a solid alternative. For a bridge that replaces many teeth, we may recommend a removable partial dentureor implant-supported prosthesis. With proper care, a fixed bridge may last 8 to 10 years.
If you have lost teeth due to accident, injury, or gum disease, we can create a permanent dental bridge to restore your smile. A bridge not only fills the gap, but it also prevents repositioning of remaining teeth. It can also correct a misaligned bite, improve chewing function and speech articulation, and provide internal structure for the face to give you a more youthful appearance.
Teeth are necessary for the health of the gums, jaw, and other teeth as well. When a tooth is missing, other teeth may shift to the space that is left which will cause the opposing jaw line to have bite problems. This may lead to TMJ disorder and other problems such as an increased risk of decay and gum disease. In addition to these problems the jaw bone that supported the tooth begins to dissolve and becomes weak and noticeably smaller. Since these problems can affect your overall oral health, they are important to remedy as soon as possible to avoid problems in appearance, health, and nutrition.
If you have questions about crown and bridgework or any other dental prosthetic, contact our St. Louis dental office. We will be happy to discuss the options and schedule your consultation.