Did you know dentists can build bridges to fill gaps between teeth? When patients get dental bridges in Ontario, California, at the office of Dr. Mukesh Patel, they benefit from a well-established and highly versatile form of tooth replacement. There are many different types of dental bridges, but the type most appropriate for the situation depends on the number of teeth missing, the health of the surrounding teeth, and where the gaps and healthy teeth are located. You may ask yourself “why do the numbers and locations of teeth matter?”. To understand the significance of a proper and thorough evaluation at the Ontario Dental Center office is to understand how bridges are designed.
All dental bridges fill in the gaps which extracted or lost teeth have created. The bridge itself is generally made of the pontic or replacement tooth and crowns or the pontic and clasps or attachments. If the bridge is “fixed” (not removable), the pontic will be fused to crowns as a single piece. In this situation, having at least a few neighboring, healthy teeth is necessary. For instance, a dental bridge for front teeth would likely require lateral incisors on both the right and left sides of the mouth. The pontics or replacement teeth depend on these neighboring teeth for support.
The crowns are then placed and bonded over those abutment teeth. This way, the crowns sufficiently hold up the pontic in the middle and effectively “bridge” the gap. Alternatively, the pontic may be held in place with attachments or clasps instead of being “fixed” to crowned teeth. These bridges may be removed for cleaning.
A fixed, permanent bridge has special cleaning considerations. It is important to clean properly underneath the bridge. Since the space is tight, at Ontario Dental Center, we may recommend special floss threaders or interdental brushes to aid with cleaning. We also demonstrate techniques that help to ensure food debris and bacteria do not collect underneath the bridge.
Other fixed bridge designs may not be suitable for teeth that bear the brunt of the pressure from chewing food, such as the molars. These bridges may only be fused to one crown due to the “availability” of teeth, or they may conservatively be connected not to crowns but directly to the neighboring teeth. Yet another modern approach to dental bridges allows the pontics to receive support from “artificial tooth roots” or implants placed in the jawbone. These implant-retained systems are designed like natural teeth.
Types of Dental Bridges
Fixed Bridge: Using an existing natural tooth to hold the bridge in place, a fixed bridge will be anchored in place using cement. Once in place, only a dentist can remove this type of bridge, but they provide a very stable feeling and mimic the feel of your natural teeth. A pontic, secured by one or more crowns, will take the place of the missing tooth or teeth.
Implant-Supported Bridge: If you elect an implant-supported bridge, you will need dental implants before getting the bridge. The implants will act as artificial tooth roots to which the bridge will be attached. This form of dental bridge will help preserve your jawbone thanks to a process called osseointegration. During this process, the jawbone fuses to the implant, and any stimulation to your bridge will echo down to the jawbone, creating the stimulation required to keep it healthy. A bridge resting on the gums cannot guarantee this unique benefit as it does not actually create any stimulation for the jawbone. Another benefit of an implant-supported bridge is that it does not require support from surrounding teeth. This form of bridge will require surgery so the implants can be placed, making it a more involved and lengthy process.
You have many options for replacing missing teeth in Ontario, California, at the office of Dr. Mukesh Patel. One thing is for certain: Do not wait. If you do not use the underlying bone due to missing teeth, you lose that bone tissue. Bone loss can affect everything from how you speak and eat to how you look.
Call (909) 414-3535 to schedule your appointment at Ontario Dental Center today.
A bridge is a non-surgical way to replace one or many teeth. A bridge uses the adjacent teeth as anchors to support the missing tooth or teeth. With today’s dental advancements, a bridge can be fabricated in a fairly short period of time, using a metal or nonmetal foundation. Don’t let that missing tooth affect the way you speak and smile. Bridge’s yield immediate results that last a lifetime. Ask your dentist what type of bridge may be right for you.