Missing teeth can cause a variety of problems in your life, from difficulty speaking normally to problems eating properly resulting in poor nutrition. Fortunately, modern dentistry now has several excellent options for tooth replacement available to dental patients. One of the most simple and reliable restorative solutions is the dental bridge, a dental prosthesis that replaces a missing tooth. It is made of at least three crowns attached together. In this instance, the dental crown replacing the missing tooth is called a pontic. Healthy adjacent teeth, or abutments, are also covered with dental crowns and used to support the pontic.
Dr. James Dickert, Dr. Agatha Lynn, and their Charleston, SC team provide dental bridges and other restorative treatments to help patients with missing teeth. If you are interested in a dental bridge consultation, you can call (843) 371-5480 or request an appointment online.
Replacing Single and Multiple Teeth
If you have a single missing tooth, your bridge will require three connected crowns: two to cover the abutment teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth and one in between to replace it. This configuration is known as a three-unit bridge. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns (and possibly more abutment teeth) will be needed to form the bridge. Your dentist will calculate how many crowns will be needed using several variables: the number of teeth missing, the size, length, and stability of the abutment tooth roots, and also from where in the mouth the teeth were lost.
Dental Bridges: What to Expect
To begin treatment, a local anesthetic will be administered and your abutment teeth will be prepared for the dental crowns. After the enamel has been removed, molds of the abutment teeth will be made to create the crowns to form your bridge. During this initial visit, a temporary bridge will be fitted so that you will still be able to eat and speak until your permanent restoration is ready. At a second visit, you will have your permanent bridge placed.
How to Care For Your Dental Bridge
After receiving your dental bridge, continue to brush and floss twice daily to combat tooth decay. To floss, you must weave the floss under the connected crowns to clean between them. Dr. Dickert or Dr. Lynn can review the care requirements with you during your consultation. A properly maintained dental bridge can last almost a decade.