If you have one or more missing teeth, it is important to replace them as soon as possible to ensure continued oral health. Edentulous mouths, those with missing teeth, are more susceptible to gum disease and other dental problems. When teeth go missing, the underlying bone structure begins to deteriorate and weaken surrounding tooth roots. Saint Louis cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kirk Quigless, may recommend dental bridges to fill the gaps and shore up the surrounding teeth to stabilize them.
Types of Dental Bridges
A dental bridge consists of two parts:
The pontic is the part of the appliance that actually replaces the tooth, or teeth, filling in the gaps that are left behind. These pontics are supported by the abutments, which are basically porcelain crowns that are fitted onto the surrounding teeth.
Typically, the bridge is supported by abutments to either side of the pontic. The teeth on either side are prepared and placed with a porcelain crown that holds up the pontic piece. In cases where two pontics are used, additional teeth to either side of the gap may also be used to support the pontic to ensure stability.
Front teeth that have less pressure on them might benefit from a cantilevered bridge, which uses an abutment on just one side of the missing tooth.
Dental Bridge Procedures
The teeth on either side of the gap are prepared as abutments. Basically, some tooth material is removed in order to support a dental crown. Once the teeth to either side of the gap are prepared, Dr. Quigless makes an impression from which the bridge is made. After the bridge is fabricated, it is placed and permanently affixed to the abutment teeth, restoring full function.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
The new bridge is made of porcelain and is crafted to match your existing tooth color and shape. Dental bridges look and feel just like your natural teeth and can be cared for with your regular oral hygiene practices.
The bridge offers support to the surrounding teeth and helps maintain strength in the underlying bone structure. Best of all, you will no longer have any embarrassing tooth gaps that may have been hindering your winning smile.
To find out more about dental bridges or other cosmetic or restorative dental treatments like dental implants, porcelain veneers, or tooth whitening, please contact St. Louis cosmetic dentist, Dr. Quigless. He will help you get your smile back where it belongs.
8083 Manchester Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63144