When you’re missing one or more teeth, the resulting gaps may lead to further problems, such as teeth on each side of the gap shifting their positions. Dental bridges, offered at our practice in San Antonio, TX, replace the missing teeth by connecting a replacement tooth with your remaining teeth, literally bridging these spaces in your mouth.
Replacement teeth in a bridge are called pontics, and these can be made from porcelain, gold, composites, alloys, or a combination of materials. Your natural teeth on each side of a gap are called abutment teeth. Crowns are placed on these two teeth and the crowns are connected to the pontic in the middle, closing the space with the artificial tooth that can resemble your natural teeth quite closely.
Implant technology provides an alternate means of attaching bridges. The base of the bridge is, in this case, implanted into the bone of your jaw, and the pontics attach to this base.
When gaps from your missing teeth are visible, bridges fill in so no one notices your tooth loss. Materials used to make the crowns and pontics can be the same color as your real teeth, so they blend in and look natural.
In some cases, missing teeth can make it difficult to chew or speak. The flesh of your lower cheeks may begin to collapse inward without the outward pressure from the missing teeth. Your remaining teeth may also drift into the gaps created by lost teeth. All of these conditions are relieved with dental bridges fitted into your mouth.
During the first appointment with River City Dental Solutions, Dr. Shields or Dr. Perry prepare the abutment teeth by recontouring these to receive the crowns of the bridge. Dental impressions are formed, providing the lab with a model around which to build your bridge. Finally, you’ll be fitted with a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums until the permanent bridge is manufactured.
At your next visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new bridge is fitted. In some cases, this can take several appointments to adjust the fit and bite, and the bridge may be temporarily cemented until the correct fit is determined. Only then is the bridge affixed permanently.
Dr Perry is a great dentist. Very kind and informative. I feel like he is personally invested in my health. He always takes the time to sit and discuss any issues I'm having - I never feel like they're rushing me out.