Julie A. Phillips, DDS, MS has helped many patients who have bad front teeth get fitted with anterior bridges. Whether you’ve lost one tooth or many teeth in the front of your mouth, this can make a huge impact on your life. It can make simple tasks (e.g., eating, speaking) difficult and affects your self-esteem by changing your appearance.
What Bridges Are
The dental appliance that’s known as a “bridge” got its name because it “bridges” the gap between your missing teeth. In between your healthy teeth (a.k.a. abutment teeth) new, prosthetic (a.k.a. pontic) teeth are anchored. These pontics are typically composed of ceramic, but sometimes alloys, porcelain, gold, or a combination of materials is used to create a completely function tooth.
Types of Bridges
Fixed bridges are the most common type of bridge. Here your pontic tooth will sit between the two crowns that are used to anchor it to your abutment teeth. We must first prepare your abutment teeth as though they were about to get crowns.
Resin-bonded (a.k.a. Maryland) bridges are also common. They use metal “wings” instead of crowns to fix themselves to your abutment teeth. Instead of trimming your teeth, cement is used to hold these bridges onto the back of the abutment teeth. This is beneficial in that it allows your healthy teeth to remain whole.
Benefits of Bridges
There are many great benefits to getting bridges. These will not only restore your smile and improve your self-confidence, but they’ll also improve the rest of your life as well. By preventing your healthy, natural teeth from shifting, your bite remains evenly distributed. This means you’ll be able to eat properly, whereas when you didn’t have a full set of teeth, you probably found it difficult to chew, which hurt your digestion and nutrition. Additionally, you’ll find you’re able to speak better too. All this helps keep your other teeth even and healthy, so you can avoid developing any other oral health issues.
Getting Your Bridge
It will require two office visits for you to be properly fitted with a new anterior bridge. During your first visit, we’ll completely examine your entire mouth and take x-rays. We will also shave your abutment teeth so your fixed bridge’s crowns can fit over top of them. This isn’t necessary if you’re getting a resin-bonded bridge, though regardless of what type of bridge you’re getting we must still take an impression of the area to send to the lab. In about one or two weeks they’ll send us your custom-made bridge. Until then, you’ll have a temporary bridge to wear.
During your second visit, your bridge will be fitted in your mouth where it’s permanently cemented into place. We’ll make sure you feel comfortable so that you’ll be able to smile naturally and use your teeth normally before leaving our office. You’ll also be instructed on how to care for your new bridge, which isn’t any different from caring for your natural teeth.
When you’re ready to get your bridge, call Julie A. Phillips, DDS, MS at 336-890-8218 to set up an appointment.