There are many circumstances that can lead to the loss of a permanent teeth, including trauma, injury, decay, and/or disease. Unlike the loss of teeth as a child, losing an adult tooth does not come with a visit from the tooth fairy and another tooth waiting to erupt. Once permanent teeth are lost, a patient must have it replaced as soon as possible to maintain oral health. When gaps are left in the smile, neighboring teeth may begin to shift out of place, making oral hygiene more difficult. At our Redlands area practice, we use dental bridges to fill the void left by missing teeth.
Dental bridges can accomplish the following:
- Restore beauty to the appearance of the smile
- Stimulate the jawbone to maintain proper facial contours
- Ensure a proper bite for chewing and speaking
- Keep neighboring teeth in the appropriate place
There are two main options for dental bridges. Choosing the one that is best for you is something we can help with during the consultation. There is a traditional dental bridge and a fixed dental bridge.
The traditional dental bridge is composed of two dental crowns that are placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap. In between the dental crowns lies the artificial tooth, known as a pontic. The entire process for receiving a dental bridge can be completed in just two appointments.
During the first visit, the anchor teeth are prepared for placement of the dental crown. Once that is done, impressions are taken and sent off to the lab for custom fabrication. A temporary bridge is placed during the interim.
Once the final dental bridge is ready, you can come back to the office for placement of the permanent appliance. At this point, if you have opted for a fixed bridge, it will be cemented into place.
When taken care of properly, dental bridges can be a beautiful, functional solution that last patients many years. As always, proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are crucial to the longevity of the restoration. If you are living in the Redlands and have recently experienced a loss of natural teeth, come to our office today to find out about your options.