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Missing teeth no longer have to plague your smile. At Julian S. Drew, DDS, our skilled dentist utilizes dental bridges to fill gaps with permanent, beautiful replacement teeth.

A dental bridge is a cosmetic dentistry procedure. Dental bridges prevent teeth shifting that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems. Dental bridges are made from gold, metal, alloys, or porcelain to ensure that they are strong and durable. Overall, they safeguard existing teeth and solve the problem of missing teeth.

Bridging the Gap

Dental crowns can be used to create lifelike replacements for missing teeth. For dental bridgework trying to replace a single tooth, at least three crowns are required.

Two of the crowns involved in the bridging process will be placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth gap. These healthy teeth are referred to as “abutment teeth.” The crowned abutment teeth support a third crown placed in between them. That third crown is referred to as a “pontic.” If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be required to bridge the gap between the abutment teeth. For example, if you have three missing teeth then four abutment teeth may be necessary to create a seven-tooth bridge.

Abutment Teeth

The number of abutment teeth needed to replace a missing tooth is influenced by several factors. For one, the number of missing teeth that need to be replaced. Other factors include:

  • Where in the mouth the missing tooth is located
  • Size and length of the abutment tooth roots
  • Amount of bone support within each abutment tooth

The Overall Process

After the abutment teeth have been addressed, your dentist will create a mold of that area of your mouth. That mold is sent to a dental lab. The lab uses the mold to create a bridge that will fit properly and feel as much like your natural teeth as possible. Each bridge consists of two crowns on either end to place on the abutments, and a pontic.

We will fit you with a temporary dental bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. This will protect the abutments and the exposed gum areas, and it will be more aesthetically pleasing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow up visit in our Raleigh office to set the bridge. It will be placed on the abutments and your dentist will then use an adhesive to make sure the bridge is set.

The bridge may take a little while to get used to, but after a few days it should feel like you have your own teeth back again. You should eat soft foods for the first few days after having your bridge placed. After the initial phase, you will be able to eat whatever you want with no issues

Caring for Your Crowns & Bridgework

Dental crowns and dental bridges need the same care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss them every day to avoid bacteria build up. If you tend to grind your teeth at night then consider wearing a nightguard. Furthermore, be sure to maintain regularly scheduled cleanings with your trusted Raleigh, NC dentist, Dr. Drew.

Benefiting from a Dental Bridge

If you are missing a tooth you should strongly consider having it replaced. Dr. Drew recommends first pursuing dental implants as a means to restoring your smile and then inquiring about dental bridges.

Besides the aesthetic disadvantage of missing a tooth, it could cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, and make it difficult to eat and speak. Set up an appointment today to restore your smile’s healthy, beauty, and vibrancy. Contact our Raleigh general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry practice to speak with one of our team members and learn how you can benefit from this treatment, or one of our other services.

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