The prospect of losing a tooth is something that most us don’t think about until the inevitable happens and we are either told that we need a tooth extracted, or we have a tooth that falls out of its own accord. The effects of tooth loss are more than just cosmetic, although the appearance of a gap in our smile will inevitably cause some embarrassment and concern. Depending on where the gap is, there may also be a significant functional impact, with some patients finding it difficult to bite or chew, or to pronounce words, in the same way, due to missing teeth.
Fortunately, there are several different options available to replace a missing tooth. One of the most popular is known as a porcelain bridge.
What is a porcelain bridge?
A porcelain bridge is a dental device that comprises of a series of artificial teeth that are custom designed specifically for your smile. These include the false tooth, known as a pontic, that will sit in the gap, which is bolstered on either side by crowns that will sit over your natural teeth either side of the gap. It is these crowns, often called abutment crowns, that will be responsible for holding your bridge in place.
Since the bridge is made from porcelain, cosmetically it resembles the appearance of natural teeth. Better still, porcelain can be glazed in a variety of shades which means that it can be closely matched to your existing teeth, ensuring that your restoration is extremely discreet and looks as natural as possible.
How are porcelain bridges created and fitted?
Porcelain bridges are made specifically to fill your gap with an artificial tooth the right size and shape to look natural. The supporting crowns are custom-designed to fit over the neighboring teeth. This ensures a comfortable as well as anesthetic fit.
Firstly, your teeth that neighbor the gap must be prepared. This involves using an anesthetic so they can be filed down to accept the crowns which will support the bridge. Then, images and impressions are taken of your teeth. These will be used to design your bridge with precision and accuracy. Temporary crowns will be placed over the prepared abutment teeth while your bridge is being made. Around a week later, you will be able to return to our offices to have your temporary crowns removed and your bridge cemented permanently in place.
Benefits of a porcelain bridge
There are a variety of different benefits offered by a porcelain bridge. These include the following:
Improved chewing. If you have lost a molar or premolar, you may struggle to chew. Meanwhile, if you have lost an incisor, you may find it difficult to bite.
Improved ability to speak clearly. This is because the tongue pushes against the teeth when forming sounds.
Prevention of your natural teeth from shifting position to take up the space offered by the missing tooth
Maintenance of your face shape. This is important since your jaw bone starts to deteriorate when you lose a tooth.
Enjoy a restored, attractive smile. When you replace a missing tooth with a dental bridge, you don’t need to worry about unsightly gaps affecting your confidence.
We are committed to ensuring all of our patients can benefit from functional and beautiful smiles. If you have lost one or more teeth, you may be a good candidate for a porcelain bridge. To find out more about this effective treatment, or to schedule a consultation with our experienced dental team to discuss whether a porcelain bridge is the right solution for you, please get in touch with us by calling 770-809-1500 today.