Dental Bridge
smileThe loss of a single tooth, particularly one that cannot be seen, may not seem like a big deal. However, losing just one tooth can cause more problems than just affecting the quality of your smile. When faced with tooth loss, it is essential that the tooth is replaced right away. Dr. Keith A. Boenning can replace a missing tooth with a bridge.

What Happens When I Lose a Tooth?


Losing a tooth causes several issues. One of the most obvious effects of tooth loss is the impact it has on your smile. However, even if the tooth is lost at the back of the mouth where it cannot be seen, there are still several issues that arise.
•  Biting and chewing become more challenging.
•  Your digestion suffers, which can also impact your nutrition and your overall health.
•  Your speech may be affected.
•  Chewing pressures become unevenly distributed, which increases the risk of tooth damage.
•  Food can get lodged in the empty space, and the space may be more difficult to clean. This increases your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
•  Your teeth begin to shift into the empty space, which causes all of your other teeth to begin to shift out of alignment. This impacts your bite as well as your oral health.

What is a Bridge?


A bridge is a traditional restoration used to replace one to three missing teeth. There are a few different types of bridges, including cantilever, Maryland, and fixed. Fixed bridges are the most common traditional restoration. It consists of a pontic tooth and two dental crowns. The pontic tooth is the replacement tooth that fills in the space left behind by your missing tooth. It resembles the missing tooth in size and shape. The two crowns sit one on each side of the pontic tooth. They are there to anchor the restoration into place on the adjacent, or abutment, teeth, which hold your replacement tooth securely in place.


Getting Your Bridge


It typically requires two separate appointments to get a bridge. At your first visit, we administer a local anesthetic to prepare the abutment teeth. This process involves removing a portion of enamel from the abutment teeth so that your restoration will fit naturally and comfortably into place. The local anesthetic ensures that you will not feel any discomfort. After preparing the tooth, an impression of your mouth is taken. Finally, a temporary bridge is set into place. While the temporary bridge helps to restore some of the functions of the missing tooth, it also helps to protect your abutment teeth and protects the health of your mouth.

The impression is sent to our dental lab. Technicians use the impression to design and create your customized restoration. Once it is ready, they send it back to us. At your second appointment, we check the restoration to ensure that it fits properly and your bite is both natural and comfortable. If everything fits well and there are no adjustments needed, your bridge is bonded into place on the abutment teeth.

Benefits of a Bridge


A bridge provides several benefits. These include
•  Filling in the empty space left behind by your missing tooth.
•  If the missing tooth is near the front of your mouth, the quality of your smile is restored.
•  Protecting your oral health.
•  Evenly distributing chewing forces.
•  Enabling you to bite and chew normally. This can help to improve digestion and nutrition.
•  Preventing teeth from shifting out of alignment.

If you have lost a tooth, a bridge can fill in the empty space, restoring the functions of that tooth, your oral health, and your quality of life. Call Keith A. Boenning, DDS at (410) 828-1717 today to learn more.
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