Improve Your Smile and Gain Functionality With Dental Bridges

Dental bridges replace missing teeth, essentially bridging gaps in your smile. Lost teeth can affect your ability to chew properly and may lead to discomfort or oral health issues. Your ability to speak may also suffer in extreme cases. 

Often combined with crowns or implants, bridges not only fill in empty spaces — they help restore the normal functions you expect from your teeth.

Why it’s important to replace missing teeth

Whenever you’re missing one or more permanent teeth, it’s time to consider a bridge. Once a tooth is gone, your remaining teeth may adapt to the space, moving, rotating, or twisting and affecting the way your upper and lower teeth work together. 

As their relationship changes, you could experience discomfort as you eat or other problems such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, an inflammation of the joint on which your lower jaw hinges.  

How bridges work

Bridges fill in the space left by missing teeth. That broad definition refers to a wide range of dental restorations, since bridges are used to fix many forms of tooth loss. Because of the unique nature of your teeth and tooth loss, there’s no standard off-the-shelf dental bridge. 

At Marina Landing Dentistry, we custom-fit each bridge, so we can be sure the bridge is right for your mouth.

A bridge replaces only the crown portion of the tooth. With a bridge, there’s no replacement of the root portion of a tooth as there is in the case of dental implants. A bridge relies on other teeth for support. 

If you’ve lost a tooth between two healthy teeth, for example, a bridge uses the teeth on either side of the gap it fills for support. The bridge may be a removable denture with clips to fit around the adjacent teeth and hold it in place, or it may be fused between two crowns that we permanently cement over the adjacent teeth.

Other types of bridges

If you’ve lost a back molar, there won’t be a permanent tooth behind the gap, so we may use a cantilever bridge construction instead to secure the restoration. The Maryland bridge style is typically used for visible teeth at the front of your mouth. Ceramic or metal strips cemented to the backs of adjacent teeth provide support for the bridge, presenting a uniform appearance for your smile.

When you have more than one tooth missing, you have different options. We can combine bridges with implants to restore your smile. Dental implants replicate the root of a missing tooth, interacting and integrating with the bone of your jaw. 

Implants represent a strong and secure base on which to secure a crown. These artificial crowns can then support bridgework in much the same way as conventional crowns over permanent teeth do in other bridge settings.

You have plenty of options to replace missing teeth and restore both appearance and function to your mouth. At Marina Landing Family Dentistry, Dr. Asmita Dharia is a dental bridge specialist, able to address any combination of missing teeth. 

To learn more about how bridges can help you, call our office today to schedule your consultation.

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