Has tooth loss changed your smile? A dental bridge can fill the gaps and improve your appearance. Your Midland, MI, dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkle, helps her patients make the most of their smiles with bridges and other restorations.
Dental bridges restore missing teeth
Appearance is a key concern after tooth loss, but it's far from the only issue. Missing teeth make eating difficult and may even affect your ability to speak clearly. Once a gap appears in your smile, your other teeth slowly begin to move in an attempt to fill in the empty spaces. As the teeth shift, your bite may change, which alters your appearance and can increase your risk of developing temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).
Dental bridges replace the teeth you've lost, improve your appearance and prevent your teeth from drifting. The restorations are usually made of porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic or resin and are often used to replace one or two missing teeth. Bridges consist of:
- Pontics: These artificial teeth restore your missing teeth and are attached to crowns on either side.
- Crowns: Crowns hold your bridge in place. The hollow restorations slip over the teeth on either side of the gap and are held in place with dental cement.
The dental bridge process
The teeth that will receive the crown portion of your new bridge must be reduced in size slightly to accommodate the crowns. After your Midland dentist alters these teeth, she'll make an impression of your mouth. The impression is an essential step in the bridge process and serves as a mold for your new bridge.
It usually takes about two weeks for the dental laboratory to make your bridge. In the meantime, you'll wear a temporary bridge that your dentist will prepare for you.
As soon as your bridge is completed, you'll return to the office for your next appointment. Your dentist will check the fit of the bridge and make any necessary adjustments before permanently attaching the restoration to the supporting teeth with dental cement.
Thanks to your bridge, your gaps will disappear and you'll be able to chew normally once again.
Need dental work? Give us a call
Complete your smile with a dental bridge! Call your Midland, MI, dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkle, at (989) 631-6680 to schedule your appointment.