We do everything we can to save your teeth. We can fix your teeth with fillings when you have a cavity. We can place a crown on a tooth if it is weak. But sometimes, despite all of our best efforts, and your faithful brushing and flossing, you lose a tooth. While we hate to see you lose your tooth, you need to know it is not the end of the world. There are things we can do to help you replace that lost tooth. One of the things we can do to help you is called a bridge. If you are not sure what a bridge in restorative dental work is, let Lincoln Center Smiles take a minute to talk to you about bridges.
What Does Having a Bridge Mean?
Bridges are a prosthetic for your missing tooth. Bridges work to replace a tooth or teeth that you don’t have anymore. Bridges are helpful to replace missing teeth, especially when they are missing on one side. Usually, bridges are used with crowns. In the spot when you are missing teeth, usually we will place crowns on either side of where you have teeth missing. The bridge is then cemented to the teeth that are crowned. In some cases, we can cement a bridge to your natural teeth or onto dental implants.
Why Do I Have to Get a Bridge?
No one can make you get a bridge. However, you need to keep in mind that not replacing your missing teeth can lead to complications down the road. If you have a missing tooth, you have a gap in your smile. This means that your other teeth will try to fill in the space left by your missing tooth. Over time, your teeth might shift. If you have multiple teeth missing, that shift could throw your bite out of alignment. It might also cause you to chew differently, which may cause problems for your jaw.
Also, if you choose not to replace your missing teeth, you may change the wear pattern on your teeth, which could lead to fractures or cracks. You might also have tooth wear that is not even. Depending on how many teeth are missing, you may have trouble eating, chewing, or talking with missing teeth.
Types of Dental Bridges
Just like bridges you see over bodies of water, there is more than one type of dental bridge. We usually use the standard bridge to replace teeth. This is the most common type of bridge. We talked about it earlier. A standard bridge has two sides, and each side is cemented to a tooth. The middle of the bridge is where the prosthetic teeth go. That way, the empty space left by your missing teeth is filled.
The second type of bridge is called the Maryland bridge. This bridge only has one end cemented to your natural tooth, crown, or implant. The other end has wings that are bonded to another tooth. We usually use this kind of bridge on front teeth. That’s because the teeth need to look good for all those pictures you take, but they don’t need to be used for chewing. In rare cases, we might use a cantilever bridge, but they are not used frequently anymore.
If you are missing teeth, give Lincoln Center Smiles a call at (971) 317-9499. We love fixing smiles.