Implants aren’t the only alternative to missing teeth.
A bridge can also replace one or more missing teeth and it is a cheaper alternative.
A bridge is a fixed device, replacing one or more missing teeth. It consists of an artificial tooth anchored to the adjacent natural teeth. If a tooth is lost through an accident or is too badly decayed to save with a crown, a bridge may be the treatment of choice.
To prepare the tooth for the bridge, an impression is taken of your lower and upper teeth to make a permanent record of their appearance and how they fit together when your jaw is closed – also known as occlusion.
This is done by filling a jaw shaped tray with a soft, gel-like material, placed on your teeth and held in place to set for three to five minutes.
An accurate reproduction of your upper and lower teeth is produced and now preparation of the tooth/teeth can commence.
You will not be left without a tooth/teeth. Temporary tooth/teeth are cemented with temporary cement while the real bridge is sent to the lab for completion. This process normally takes two weeks, however in some cases, this can be completed in one week.
At the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed, the new bridge fitted and cemented in place with dental cement and should feel comfortable and natural in your mouth.
Dental cement usually sets in less than 1 hour and reaches full strength in 24 hours.
You are now ready to chew on these to your heart’s content.
Crowns and bridges should last for many years (some patients have had their bridge for 20 years plus), however, there is no lifetime guarantee.
As with your natural teeth, good oral hygiene is important to maintain the bridge and its lifespan.
Regular dental check-ups are advisable.
Dr. Ron is will be happy to discuss any questions you may have and the best alternative for you.