The eyes are the windows to the soul, but your smile is the window to your heart. If your smile isn’t the way you want it, it may be painting the wrong picture. Missing teeth cannot only result in a less than spectacular smile but it can also cause a number of other problems if left unaddressed. To combat these problems, Dr. Mary Lewis may recommend a dental bridge.
What problems do missing teeth cause?
Your teeth work together as a unit. While teeth are shaped differently for biting or chewing, they work cohesively to maintain their position within the jaw. When a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth gradually shift because their support is gone, resulting in more gapping and crooked teeth. Teeth are also a major factor for linguistics and a gap or space could make pronunciation difficult and cause food trapping, as well as periodontal disease.
A dental bridge fills the gap so that the gum and surrounding tissue does not deteriorate. With the bridge in place, patients are able to chew and speak as if their natural teeth were present all along.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is made of high-grade dental porcelain to fill the space of missing teeth and prevent crowding. A dental bridge relies on surrounding teeth to provide the support system for the replacement tooth, called a pontic. The pontic or “dummy tooth” is attached to crowns on each side. A fixed bridge is permanently attached so the shape and structure of the mouth can be maintained and the patient can resume normal activities without concerns.
What can I expect during the procedure?
- During your preliminary dental bridge visit, the surrounding abutment teeth will be recontoured for the crowns. An impression is made out of putty and sent to a lab to create your fixed bridge.
- In the meantime, you will be provided with a temporary bridge to protect the area during the process. Upon its completion, you will be scheduled for follow up visits to ensure it fits properly.
- The fixed bridge will be permanently cemented into place to maintain its position and prevent movement.
How do I care for my dental bridge?
To ensure a long-lasting bridge, teeth should be properly maintained. Over all oral health will not only protect your dental bridge but will also maintain proper health of the surrounding teeth that offer the support system for the dental bridge. Routine brushing and a flossing regimen will promote the longevity of your bridge. With proper care, your bridge can last 20 or mmore years.
If you or someone you know could benefit from a dental bridge in Virginia Beach, contact Dr. Mary Lewis today. Her friendly staff at Virginia Beach Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is happy to schedule your consultation. Call today at (757) 631-9200.