When you suffer tooth loss, your entire life is affected. While losing a single tooth might not seem like such a big deal, particularly if the tooth is missing out of sight when you smile, it is essential that the tooth be replaced right away. At Goichi Shiotsu, DDS, we can replace a missing tooth with a dental bridge.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A bridge is a dental restoration that is commonly used to replace a single missing tooth, although it can replace up to three consecutive teeth. Bridges are a traditional treatment for replacing a missing tooth. There are a few different types of bridges available, including Maryland or resin bonded, cantilever, and fixed.
Fixed bridges are the most common type of bridge used. A fixed bridge consists of a pontic tooth, or replacement tooth, that fills in the empty space left behind by your missing tooth and is anchored securely with dental implants. The pontic tooth looks like your natural tooth in size and shape, and it replaces many of the functions of that tooth. The restoration also has two dental crowns, one on each side of the pontic tooth. These crowns are there to fit over the adjacent healthy teeth, called abutment teeth, and function to hold the bridge securely in place. Bridges are typically made from porcelain, although they can also be made from metal or porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain helps to provide a perfectly natural restoration to your smile, as the material blends in beautifully with the color of your natural teeth.
Why Get a Bridge?
There are many benefits to getting a bridge. These benefits include
Biting and chewing normally. When you can chew normally, your digestion and nutrition improve.
Improved oral health.
Reduced risk of tooth damage.
Improved smile. Even if the tooth is out of sight when you smile, filling in the empty space can help to prevent your natural teeth from shifting out of alignment, preventing overcrowding.
How is a Dental Bridge Placed?
Getting a bridge typically requires two separate appointments. During your first appointment, we prepare the abutment teeth. The process, done under a local anesthetic, involves removing a portion of the enamel from each tooth. This reduces the abutment teeth so that your bridge will fit perfectly naturally in with the rest of your teeth. After the teeth have been prepared, an impression of your mouth is taken. This impression is sent to our dental lab, where technicians use it to design and create your custom bridge.
Your bridge can take up to two weeks to complete, so a temporary restoration is set into place in your mouth while you wait. Commonly thought to be a temporary aesthetic fix, a temporary bridge also helps to protect your prepared teeth as well. Once the bridge is complete, you have your second appointment. At this appointment, your bridge is checked for fit and a natural bite. If no adjustments are required, we bond the bridge into place using specialized dental cement.
With a bridge, we can restore the functions of your missing tooth and well as the appearance of your smile. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Goichi Shiotsu, DDS at (206) 232-3600 today.
Goichi Shiotsu, DDS
Mercer Island, Washington
Location 2825 80th Ave SE, Suite 3 Mercer Island, WA 98040 Hours: Tuesday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm (206) 232-3600