People make fun of Florida’s flatness. After all, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is the highest point in the state at 430 feet above sea level!
At Implant Dentistry of Florida, we’re not overly concerned about bridges and elevation; we’re more concerned with gaps in our patient’s teeth that need to be spanned by a dental bridge.
The problem is, many times when a person either loses a tooth in a fall or other trauma or has a decayed tooth extracted, there is a tendency not to replace it with an artificial tooth. After all, it’s just a single tooth, right? An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
The gap isn’t necessarily the problem; it’s how your other teeth respond to the gap. Just like fans at a packed Gator game that slide over into the space created when the person next to them goes to the concession stand, when your teeth don’t have pressure on them from teeth on both sides of them they also slide over into the gap. This causes issues with your bite and overall tooth alignment.
While at Implant Dentistry of Florida we believe implants are the best solution to replace missing teeth, sometimes patients prefer the option of the less involved solution of a bridge.
What Is a Bridge?
A bridge, as the name implies, spans the gap of the missing tooth or teeth, using a crown to anchor it on each side with an artificial tooth (called a pontic) in the middle. The adjacent teeth on each side are the abutment teeth. Bridges can be made of a variety of materials, but the most common bridge materials are porcelain and ceramic.
How Is a Bridge Placed?
When Dr. Brown or Dr. Vaughn places a bridge, the first step is to prepare the abutment teeth. We remove some of each of the two abutment teeth (on all sides and top) to make room for crowns to be placed atop both teeth. We may be able to use our CEREC 3D design and milling capability to create your new bridge in one office visit. Some cases still require a dental lab to fabricate the bridge. Either way, we take impressions and measurements depending on what your bridge requires. We then send them to the CEREC system or the dental lab. The bridge will be a single piece, with crowns on both sides and the pontic or points in between.
When your bridge is finished, we first check the fit and the color match of your bridge. If everything looks good, we cement the crowns down onto your abutment teeth, and you’re good to go.