dental bridge for missing teeth -- person sitting in the dentist chair, up close shot of their mouth with dental implements

What Is a Dental Bridge?

No matter how well you take care of your teeth, sometimes you lose one. Tooth loss can happen because of injuries, gum disease, decay, and other issues. When you lose a tooth, you might need a dental bridge to fill the gap. Wondering what a dental bridge for missing teeth is and how it works? Let the friendly dentists at Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry answer all of your questions. 

Why might I need a dental bridge? 

Losing a tooth affects your entire mouth. All your teeth work harmoniously together for eating, speaking, and smiling. When a tooth goes missing, it throws your bite pattern off. Depending on the location of the lost tooth, your speech may change. And, if a dentist does not fill the hole with a false tooth, your remaining teeth may shift around to close the gap, causing pain and other issues for your mouth and jaw.

How does a tooth bridge work? 

A dental bridge fills the gap left by missing teeth, and can replace one tooth or multiple teeth. Bridges are normally made of porcelain or plastic colored to look like your natural teeth. They can help you: 

  • Continue chewing and eating easily
  • Keep your normal speech patterns
  • Ensure your other teeth do not move around
  • Bring back your smile
  • Preserve the shape of your face

What is the procedure for getting a dental bridge for missing teeth?

A bridge is made of two parts: pontics and crowns. An artificial tooth (called a pontic) replaces the tooth you lost, and the bridge is supported on either side by dental crowns. The bridge containing the false tooth is attached by cementing crowns onto the teeth on either side. This keeps the bridge stable and secure so it will not move around. 

If you need a dental bridge, the procedure takes two dental visits. During the first visit, we will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap for placement of the bridge. We’ll take impressions of your teeth and the gap between them to make a custom, permanent bridge. We will fit you with a temporary bridge until your permanent bridge is ready. Once the permanent bridge is complete, you will come in for a second visit to fix it in place. 

Which is better—a bridge or an implant?

For many patients, a dental bridge is a great option for quickly restoring a lost tooth. With proper care, bridges last for as long as 15 years. However, dental bridges are not a permanent solution to fixing a missing tooth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth fastened into the jaw by a metal post or screw, and it’s a more permanent option for replacing missing teeth. 

While bridges and implants are both great solutions, each has its pros and cons. While implants last longer than bridges, they are more expensive and require dental surgery. Bridges require only two dental visits for placement, while more visits are necessary for implants. 

Not all people are candidates for implants—a dental bridge for missing teeth may be the better option if you have suffered any bone loss or if your jaw cannot support implants. We will walk you through your choices for restoring your lost tooth to help you make the best decision. 

Dental Bridges in Peoria, Arizona

A missing tooth is a serious matter, and should never be ignored. The sooner you have a dental bridge in place, the fewer problems you will need to worry about down the road. If you need to replace a tooth and would like to discuss your options, call Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry today at 623-526-1154

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