What Are Bridges?
A bridge is an artificial tooth, or set of teeth, which is designed to span a gap where teeth are missing. They are anchored to healthy teeth on both sides.
Why Would I Need a Bridge?
If you have had a procedure such as a root canal, then Dr. Giraldo would place a bridge if that affected tooth is beyond repair. Other reasons might be cracked teeth, chipped teeth, or situations where the tooth is so thin on the top that it cannot be successfully filled or, in the case of a lost filling, refilled. A bridge is necessary when one or more teeth are missing, and the patient wants to have them replaced.
How Are Bridges Installed?
Bridges can be designed to replace one tooth or a gap of several teeth. If more than one adjacent tooth needs to be replaced, the bridge will be a series of individual artificial teeth fused together. Dr. Giraldo will prepare the teeth at each side of the bridge to accept crowns once the permanent bridge is installed. This will involve removal of the top of each tooth. Afterwards, Dr. Giraldo will make a model of your missing teeth and the crowns that will cap the end teeth. Those will go to the dental laboratory for fabrication. In the meantime, Dr. Giraldo will fit you with a temporary bridge to protect the end teeth and fill the tooth gap. Once the permanent bridge and crowns are made, then Dr. Giraldo will carefully adjust them and anchor them permanently to the end teeth, which will then be crowned.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Bridge?
Dr. Giraldo will need to examine you to determine if a bridge is an appropriate and long-lasting solution for your missing teeth. The critical factor is that you must have healthy teeth on each side of the gap to which the bridge will anchor. If there are no healthy teeth for anchoring, then your next choice may be a partial or complete denture appliance.
How Do Bridges Compare with Other Dental Options?
Bridges are a good choice to fill in missing teeth as long as there are healthy anchor teeth available. Otherwise, dental tooth implants can be another option where the anchor teeth don’t have to be specially prepared, but Dr. Giraldo will have to insert a thin, metal anchor into the jawbone in order for the artificial tooth to be attached.