Missing a tooth and having a gap in between your teeth isn’t just unsightly, it can cause other problems. Talking and chewing may be difficult. Teeth adjacent to the space will eventually begin to shift into the empty space which will affect your bite, may lead to gum disease and possibly even jaw joint disorders like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.
A dental bridge is called a bridge because it literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Bridges are cemented to the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The adjacent teeth, called abutments, serve as the anchors for the bridge. The adjacent teeth are trimmed down and capped with a crown, and then a replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to those crowns to form the bridge. The unit is securely cemented to your teeth and your smile and ability to chew food is improved. Dental bridges are recommended to:
- Restore the ability to chew and speak properly
- Maintain the shape of your face, preventing lip or face collapse
- Distribute the forces in your bite to alleviate stress on other teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of position and into the gap
There are several types of dental bridges. Each bridge is made with different materials and is better suited for certain areas of the mouth and for certain types of situations. We will recommend the best type of dental bridge based on your individual circumstance.