True to their name, dental bridges are prosthetic devices that “bridge” gaps in your mouth created by missing teeth. Rather than continually stifling your smile to hide the gap, pay a visit to expert restorative dentist Emmanuel Puddicombe. He will expertly fit you with a dental bridge that fills in for either a missing tooth or several consecutive missing teeth.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
The most obvious benefit of a dental bridge is an aesthetic one. By replacing missing teeth, a bridge can complete your smile. Most people will be unable to detect that your bridge is not a natural part of your mouth.
Beyond the visual aspect, bridges are extremely functional. You will find it is much easier to eat once you have a full set of teeth. It should also help to improve the motion of your bite — many people will adjust their chewing to try to compensate for missing teeth, and that can generate pain and discomfort.
Your speech is likely to improve with dental bridges, too. Because having missing teeth can make it difficult to speak, you should find it easier (with some amount of practice) to pronounce words once you have a dental bridge to fill in the gap.
A bridge also plays a critical role in maintaining the alignment of your teeth. Teeth that are next to gaps have a tendency to shift out of place. Leaving that space empty jeopardizes the straightness of your teeth. Moreover, people who do not address tooth loss are susceptible to facial sagging. To protect your facial structure and attractiveness of your face, it is advisable to get a bridge or dental implants.
Types of Dental Bridges
At Family Dentistry of Lyons, Dr. Puddicombe offers all three main types of bridges, each of which is suited for specific situations:
Considered the standard bridge, the fixed bridge involves putting crowns on the teeth situated to both sides of the gap. These crowns take on the task of holding the artificial tooth or teeth between them in place.
The cantilever bridge is similar to a fixed bridge, except that it uses a single crown on one side of the gap to hold the prosthetic tooth or teeth in place. The reason for this approach is that sometimes a patient has no remaining teeth on one side of a gap to hold a crown. Aesthetics may also be the motivation for a cantilever bridge, so you may consider it if you do not want a second crown to detract from your natural teeth.
This type of bridge skips crowns altogether and instead utilizes metal “wings” that are secured permanently behind the teeth on each of the gap. It is most often used to replace front teeth because as the most visible teeth in your mouth, it can be difficult to use crowns up front and not have it so easily detected.
Dental Bridge Procedure Details
Dr. Puddicombe typically installs dental bridges in two appointments. For your first visit, he will take a mold of your mouth to create a bridge that not only fits perfectly, but also allows for an even bite. He will also shape any teeth that will be receiving crowns. A few weeks later, you will return to Family Dentistry of Lyons to have this new bridge permanently secured to your mouth. Each of these appointments typically lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Speak to Dr. Puddicombe about Dental Bridges
Dr. Puddicombe would be happy to examine your mouth and determine which type of dental bridge — or perhaps an alternative solution altogether — will best fill in any missing teeth you may have. For an appointment, please call (315) 946-4656.