Dental Bridges Appleton, WI
If you are missing one or more teeth, our Appleton dentist Dr. Anne Siegrist might recommend replacing your missing teeth with a dental bridge. Just as the name suggests, this oral device bridges the gap that is left by a missing tooth. One option is to place a crown on each tooth adjacent to the space and have a replacement tooth (also called a pontic) added between. The three porcelain teeth fused together are called a bridge and are cemented in place. Pontics can be matched in size, shape, and color to the teeth they are replacing for a natural appearance.
There are other examples of bridges, some of which are removable. Dental bridges are either fixed in place with crowns or are held in place with attachments. We have models and pamphlets available in our Appleton, WI dental office that can more easily explain the different types of bridges, so it’s best to call us for more information and to schedule an appointment.
Why is Replacing a Missing Tooth Important?
When you lose a tooth, it affects not just the appearance of your smile, but also the function.
- It can be difficult to eat or speak naturally
- Extra stress is put on your remaining teeth
- You’re at greater risk for developing gum disease
- Your remaining teeth can shift out of position, causing bite problems
- The shape of your face and jaw can change over time
Why Choose a Bridge Over a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth, but they do take longer to complete and are a more invasive procedure. Implants are small titanium posts that must be surgically embedded into your jawbone then allowed to heal for several months to fuse naturally with your jawbone. They provide a stable, permanent foundation for a crown to be placed on top to replace your missing tooth.
However, some patients may prefer a dental bridge over an implant because bridges are less expensive, can be completed much faster, and involve minimal preparation. In some cases, there may be a need for crowns on the teeth adjacent to the space of the missing tooth anyway, so a fixed dental bridge may be the best choice.
Dental Bridge Process
When you come into our Appleton dental office to get a bridge, we will first need to examine your smile and make sure your mouth is healthy enough for treatment. Next, Dr. Siegrist will need to prepare the two natural teeth on each side of the gap so that they are ready for a crown. These teeth are shaved down to make room for the crown.
Then, we will take impressions of your teeth and a dental laboratory will use these impressions to make a custom dental bridge that will fit your mouth precisely. In the meantime, a temporary bridge will be worn until your permanent one is ready.
During your next visit, the temporary bridge will be removed, and the permanent bridge will be fitted and adjusted. It may take a couple visits to make sure that the bridge fits properly and that your bite isn’t affected. Once we have determined that your bridge is a good fit, it will be cemented into place.