There are several choices when it comes to making things right after you lose a tooth. One of the most affordable and minimally invasive solutions is a dental bridge. These dental appliances bridge the gap between missing teeth to help promote both your appearance and the general health of your mouth. Some people get confused about bridges, so read on to find out more.

Why Would I Need a Bridge?

Setting aside appearances, missing teeth are problematic. The space left by a missing tooth can make your bone structure more vulnerable to bone loss. Bones rebuild themselves on a continuous basis and when the bones underneath the missing tooth perceive no tooth above, it stops creating bone. The result can be bone weakening and softening. As the bone shrinks, your lips, cheeks, and jawline will droop and make you appear older. Additionally, a missing tooth can cause the rest of your teeth to shift and move around and become loose. When that happens, bacteria can enter your gums and create gum disease. A bridge is accepted as a natural tooth and halts bone loss and the shifting problem immediately. Not only that, but a bridge makes you less sensitive about a missing tooth.

What is a Bridge?

Bridges look just like the natural tooth that you lost. They are shaped and colored to blend in and look and feel normal. For that reason, bridges are made to order. You will have a choice in materials, from ceramics and metals to a combo of those two. The location of the tooth and your budget are considerations in the decision. Not everyone can use a bridge to fill in a missing tooth. The teeth on either side of the space must be healthy and strong enough to support the bridge since it's using those teeth to anchor the bridge and make it secure.

Making a Good Impression

Most bridge procedures require at least a couple of visits to the dentist. Once your dentist evaluates the anchoring teeth, an impression of the missing tooth is created. This is often accomplished, nowadays, using digital scanning. The impression, regardless of how it's made, is sent to a dental lab for production. Often, you will be fitted with a temporary bridge while you wait for your permanent bridge to be made. Usually, bridges can be created in a matter of weeks.

The final process involves fitting the finished bridge to your anchor teeth using dental cement. Speak to your dentist to learn more about dental bridges and the way they benefit both your smile and your oral health.