All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing, and maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age. But if you do lose teeth, they must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.
A dental bridge is an option for replacement of missing teeth. A dental bridge attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are permanently attached with dental cement to these abutment teeth. Fixed bridges are applied either by placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth using retainers called wings.
Like crowns, bridges are made of gold, porcelain, or a combination thereof. Also like crowns, the recommended materials used in construction of bridges has evolved over the years. Today, in most applications, all ceramic bridges, made with modern, high-strength ceramics are the material of choice not only for their enhanced esthetic properties, but because they are also much stronger than other options.
The advantages and benefits of replacing a missing tooth or teeth with a bridge must be weighed against the pros and cons of other tooth replacement options. Usually, there may be an option to use a dental implant or a removable partial denture to replace a missing tooth. Which is better is largely dependent on an individual situation. Dr. Hunting is highly experienced with all these treatment methods and will thoroughly review your situation and educate you as to your options so that you can make the best choice for yourself.