If you’re missing one or more teeth for any reason, filling that space is vital to keep the rest of your mouth healthy. In some cases an artificial tooth can be connected to the healthy teeth around it to form a partial denture, also known as a dental bridge.
What is a Dental Bridge?
When an opening exists where one or more teeth should be, Dr. Tapaltsyan may recommend a dental bridge. Like any other bridge, these devices span a gap to connect one side of the space in your smile to the other. Dental bridges start with artificial crowns on healthy teeth to either side, with a custom-created prosthetic tooth in between to plug the gap where a tooth once was. The good news is that these prosthetic teeth, thanks to our CEREC machines, look just like natural teeth. Once the bridge is installed it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between that and any other spot in your smile.
Who Should Get a Dental Bridge?
Anyone missing one or more teeth should contact our dental office to hear about their dental bridge options in Berkeley as soon as possible. Missing teeth don’t just leave us shy about grinning widely, they also can cause serious, dangerous conditions that might jeopardize your long-term oral health.
Your mouth works best when all of its pieces are functioning together, and when one or more teeth are missing that puts unnatural stress on the rest of your mouth and gums. People who are missing teeth for long periods of time often suffer jaw shrinkage, bone loss, periodontal (gum) disease and are at risk for TMJ disorders. Gaps in your teeth also make it difficult to speak naturally, since our teeth help form the sounds we make.
What to Expect When a Dental Bridge is Installed
Even if the teeth surrounding the missing tooth are healthy, Dr. Tapaltsyan will still have to carefully remove a small portion of those teeth and place a custom tooth-colored crown. In the space between, the new artificial tooth is installed and either connected to those crowns permanently (with a strong bonding) or using metal clasps, depending on the type of bridge you’re receiving.
Dental bridges can last for several years but upholding the health of the surrounding teeth is critical. If decay occurs in the teeth that hold the crowns — functioning as the bridge’s supports — the bridge may become unstable and need to be replaced. Keeping up with regular brushing and flossing, and visiting for your regular dental cleaning, is the best thing you can do to keep your bridge in place.