People often lose teeth owing to a number of different factors including periodontal diseases, poor oral hygiene, early extractions because of untreated dental decay, and trauma related incidents. In such cases, it is necessary to replace the missing tooth/teeth in the oral cavity in order to restore and rehabilitate the patient’s ability to chew, speak and look good while smiling. Among the various treatment options that dentistry offers in the field of missing tooth replacement are Dental Bridges.
Dental Bridges can effectively replace a single tooth, or multiple missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw of the oral cavity. The prosthetic teeth thus fabricated allow the patient to chew normally, and simultaneously address the aesthetic aspect of the problem. A conventional bridge that is fabricated in the dental laboratory for the replacement of a single tooth typically comprises of three units – two abutments and one Pontiac. Abutment is the part of the bridge that is placed on top of two healthy teeth adjacent to the missing tooth socket in order to provide anchorage to the bridge; the Pontiac on the other hand, is the name given to artificial crown that replace the missing tooth in the oral cavity.
During the procedure, the dentist first notes down the shade of the natural teeth in order to fabricate a bridge that is aesthetically pleasing. Next, one tooth on each side of the missing socket is slightly trimmed down with the help of a mechanical hand-piece to accommodate better seating of the bridge. An impression is then taken to record the fine anatomical details of the unit, which is then sent to the laboratory for bridge fabrication. Technicians use this impression as well as the selected shade to create a Dental Bridge that can aptly replace the missing tooth, thus restoring compromised functionality and aesthetics. Once fabricated, the bridge is bonded on to the trimmed down teeth using a strong dental adhesive or cement.
Dental bridges can be made using different materials based on the patient’s individual requirement, socioeconomic status, and the location of the missing tooth in the oral cavity. The most popular material however, is Porcelain-Fused to-Metal, also known as PFM. It offers excellent strength, durability, and resembles natural teeth in the oral cavity in terms of appearance and feel. Book an appointment with the team of Prosthodontists at Jeanne Taylor DDS today to learn more about missing tooth replacement options in dentistry!