If you have missing teeth and the spaces are left unfilled this can have some long term consequences. The teeth on either side of the space may drift, tilt or rotate out of position or opposing teeth may extrude into the space. The can cause changes in your bite but also puts extra stress on these surrounding teeth which may cause them to be lost prematurely. If the teeth have drifted or extruded too much then the space becomes impossible to fill properly later one. Unfortunately we cannot predict how and when the teeth will move.
A bridge or fixed partial denture is one way to replace a missing tooth. In order for this procedure to be done there needs to be teeth on either side of the space. There is also limitations as to the size of the space that we can fill. It consists of two or more crowns covering the adjacent teeth with a porcelain tooth attached (soldered) in the middle. In most cases it is one piece but can be in sections if more teeth are involved. It is cemented in your mouth and is not removed but must be cared for like regular teeth.
A fixed bridge usually takes 2 or more appointments. In the first visit the adjacent teeth a reduced to make room for the bridge. About 1.5mm of tooth is removed from each side. Impressions are taken to send to the lab and a temporary bridge/crowns are made to cover the teeth while the lab is making the bridge.
At the second appointment, the temporary bridge is removed and the final one is tried in to verify fit, colour, bit and shape. If everything is satisfactory, the bridge is cemented in your mouth. We then go over how to clean and floss around the new bridge. A bridge will not last forever but with proper care and maintenance it should last a very long time.
Dr. Kelly Rodgers and her team of dedicated dental professionals are always excited to meet new clients and to catch up with old ones. Contact the Carlisle Dentistry team today and start experiencing what modern dentistry has to offer!