21 King Charles Drive, Portsmouth, RI 02871 — 401-683-5990
All your teeth play a role in speaking, chewing, and in maintaining the proper alignment of your other teeth. In most cases a lost tooth should be replaced in order to maintain proper function of your mouth and there are options for correcting tooth loss.
A bridge is a dental prosthesis used to replace missing teeth. It attaches artificial teeth to the adjacent natural teeth or "abutment teeth". Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges) or they can be removable (partial dentures). Fixed bridges are secured by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to them. Removable bridges are secured with metal clasps or with precision attachments.
The bridge fabrication procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At your first appointment, Drs. Nogueira or Ruel will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. You are fitted with a temporary bridge at that visit.
Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of your teeth are made and sent to a lab where your bridge will be fabricated. Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic, or false tooth, replaces the lost one. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge. The bridge can be constructed from gold alloys, semi-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or semi-precious metals. A strong regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is very important as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.