Missing teeth in a smile can undermine your confidence and age you in a way that few other dental issues can. But if you have a space where one or more teeth are missing, it’s not only a cosmetic issue. Increased pressure is being added to the surrounding teeth, your speech may be affected, and the teeth around the hole may begin to drift out of place. While there are various options to correct the issue, a dental bridge that is an attractive, functional, long-term tooth replacement may be the best for you.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is quite literally a bridge from one tooth to another separated by a gap. Dental crowns are attached to the two teeth around the gap, joined by a false tooth, or pontic, in place of the missing tooth. The finished product will be permanent, unlike a partial denture, which follows the same concept but is removable. Cosmetic dentists like Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins can also do a partial denture, which snaps onto the surrounding teeth rather than being bonded, but every situation is different and you would need to consult with them about the benefits of either option.
The Dental Bridge Process
A placement generally takes two office visits. At the first, Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins will ensure that the surrounding, or abutment, teeth are strong enough to support the bridge. Once they are cleared for duty, they will numb the area and prepare the abutment teeth by removing a small portion of the enamel to ensure there is room for the bridge to be placed on top. Next, they will make an impression of the area that will be sent to a dental laboratory to prepare your dental bridge. The impression will not only give them the shape of the new dental crowns for the abutment teeth, but will also provide the shape for the pontic, or false tooth that will be put in. Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins will then cover the prepared area with a temporary bridge until your permanent bridge can be placed.
Once the lab has completed your custom-made dental bridge, you will visit Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins for the second time. They will ensure that the fit and color are perfect before bonding the crowns to the abutment teeth. Once the dental bridge is permanently secured, your missing tooth will be an issue of the past, and you can once again be confident that you look your best.
Consider Dental Implants
Another option available for missing teeth is a dental implant, which will not affect the surrounding teeth. Most dentists prefer dental implants because they not only fix the appearance of missing teeth and keep the rest of your teeth from moving, but dental implants also protect your jaw from bone loss (also called resorption).
Dental implants also work in situations where your natural teeth can’t support a dental bridge. If a dental implant is prohibitively expensive, there are options to not living with a missing tooth.
Considering a Dental Bridge in Spokane?
If you are in the Spokane area and want to talk to someone about a dental bridge, please contact Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins online or by phone at (509) 532-1111 in Spokane. You can also make an appointment online.