Dental Bridges | Austin TX

All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose teeth they must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.

Dental Bridge Options

A bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges), or they can be removable.

Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments.

If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.

What exactly is a bridge or fixed partial denture?

A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device which fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges, as the name implies, can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts.

Why do I need a bridge?

Bridges are an effective way to fill in a space from a missing tooth or teeth. The teeth that are adjacent to the empty space are called the abutment teeth. An additional crown is made to fill the empty space and is attached to the abutment crowns to make one solid unit that is cemented in the mouth. It is most ideal to place a bridge to fill the empty space if the adjacent teeth already have crowns or large restorations on them.

Bridges are very versatile in that they can fill spaces with multiple missing teeth in different areas of the mouth. However, certain rules apply with bridges that increase the likelihood of long term success if followed. Each patient must be individually evaluated to determine whether a bridge is a good option for restoring a missing space.

How is a bridge attached?

The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Miller will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.

Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.

Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.

What materials are used?

Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.

How do I take care of my bridge?

A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.