When teeth are missing, a series of changes that can impact your overall dental health and jaw function may begin to develop. The adjacent teeth may start to drift or tilt into the space, and teeth in the opposing jaw may start to shift toward the area of the missing tooth. It is therefore, essential to replace either the single tooth or multiple teeth that are missing from this area. One of the best options to prevent the consequences of shifting teeth and to restore full function to a small edentulous section in the mouth is a dental bridge.
A dental bridge replaces the missing teeth with artificial teeth called “pontics,” and is supported on the ends by prepared natural teeth. Once fabricated and fitted, a dental bridge will be permanently “fixed” or cemented into place. Like crowns, bridges are designed to restore the look of natural teeth as well as recreate a functional, comfortable, and healthy occlusion (bite).
To preserve the integrity of the adjacent, natural teeth or to provide added support when multiple teeth are missing, an implant-supported bridge may be recommended. Because dental implants behave in much the same way as the roots of natural teeth, they help to bear the stress of chewing and other types of oral function. This feature alleviates the burden for the remaining natural teeth and supports their health and longevity. Dental implants also provide ongoing stimulation to the bone to prevent the bone shrinkage that naturally occurs where teeth have been lost. By maintaining the bone in the edentulous areas (the space without teeth), normal facial contours are supported, and a sagging or caved in look is avoided. As they are permanently anchored in the jawbone, implant-supported bridges fully restore one’s natural biting and chewing capacity.
At Precision Dental Care, Dr. Ochoa will analyze every aspect of your smile to develop a treatment plan that provides aesthetically pleasing, healthy, and long-lasting results of care. For more information on dental bridges, or any of the many services we provide, give us a call today.