For the most part people understand how dental fillings work and once armed with this information it is relatively easy for them to also understand the concepts of crowns and root canal therapy. However, for many people the term “dental bridges” is likely something they have heard but never really understood. Yet dental bridges are an extremely powerful tool for restoring teeth and preserving oral health.
What Are Bridges?
Bridges are a type of fixed dental prosthesis. When a tooth is completely missing and lacks a viable root structure it can be replaced using a bridge. The bridge will connect to an adjacent tooth, or teeth if needed, and will span the gap where the missing tooth once was with an artificial tooth. The tooth or teeth to which the bridge joins is called an abutment tooth. In order for bridges to be successful the abutment tooth or teeth must have a sufficiently strong root system to compensate for the lost root system of the missing tooth. Dentists use a concept called Ante’s Rule to determine if the root system of the abutment teeth will be sufficient.
The Benefits of Bridges:
- Restores the appearance and contour of the mouth
- Relatively easy to care for
- Improves chewing
- Carefully fitted to mouth with precise measurements
Fillings, crowns, and root canal therapy are effective when the patient still has an existing tooth and root structure in place. However, when the tooth has been lost and the root structure has died bridges provide a vital way to maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
Bridges and Weaver-Jaynes DDS
Weaver-Jaynes DDS understands that patients may be nervous about procedures they have never had and may not fully understand such as bridges. We will take the time to carefully explain everything to you, discuss your options, and make sure that you are comfortable before proceeding. We also offer sedation dentistry for patients who suffer from anxiety related to dental work.