All of your teeth play an important role in speaking clearly, chewing and swallowing, and in maintaining proper esthetics. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose teeth they must be replaced to maintain these important daily functions. With missing teeth, it is difficult to perform these functions. Fortunately, there are many options for correcting tooth loss.
Dental Bridge Options
Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges), or they can be removable.
- A permanent or fixed bridge is a device used to replace missing teeth by attaching artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth.
- Usually, fixed bridges are more comfortable because they stay in place and patients do not remove them. You can clean them just like your own teeth and they look and feel like them as well.
- Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with clasps (arms) or by other designs and materials.
- Removable bridges are able to be taken out of the mouth, cleaned, and then placed back into position.
Why do I need a bridge?
Oral functionality, appearance and clarity of speech are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other by working as a group. Without a full complement of teeth, unusual stresses are placed on the gums when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful oral conditions.
Shifting of teeth and decreased ability to properly chew foods are additional reasons to fabricate a properly fitting bridge.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to precious metal.
How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.
What are bridges made from?
Permanent and removable bridges can be constructed from precious (gold) alloys and semi-precious (silver-palladium-gold), titanium, and a type of surgical stainless steel. All with and without porcelain.