What is a “bridge”?
The simplest explanation is that a bridge restores the natural smile by replacing the missing teeth. It is called a bridge because the healthy, existing teeth anchor a bridge of high-quality replacement teeth. The replacements fill the empty space that has been caused by missing one or several teeth. As a result of the bridge, a natural, beautiful smile is restored with a full set of teeth. Another purpose of the bridge is to keep the remaining anchor teeth in their place. When an empty space is left because of missing teeth, the bone structure can dissolve and change over time. Eating and speaking can eventually become difficult.
What is the Process?
First our dentist will build supports using the existing, natural teeth to anchor the bridge in place. After the supports or abutments have been completed, a mold is created of the entire area where the bridge is to be placed. That unique mold will then be used by our lab to create your custom-fitted bridge, which will fit exactly into the space between your natural teeth. The custom bridge that has been properly prepared and fabricated will feel just as natural as your real teeth. Crowns will be placed on your real teeth at each end of the bridge to keep the replacement teeth in place.
A temporary bridge will be used while you wait for your permanent, custom-fabricated bridge to be created. Wearing this temporary bridge is very important because it will protect the abutments or supports that your dentist has built. The temporary bridge will also protect the exposed gums from the missing teeth. You will not have to sacrifice your natural smile while waiting for your permanent bridge. As soon as your permanent bridge has arrived at our office, we will contact you to set up an appointment to place the bridge.
While you are getting accustomed to your new bridge, you will need to eat soft foods for a few days allowing your mouth to heal and adjust. However, it won’t take long for your new bridge to feel as natural as your own teeth. At this time, you will be able to resume your regular diet without restrictions caused by the new bridge.