Dental bridges and partial dentures are common ways to replace missing teeth in adults. If teeth that have been lost are not replaced, the remaining teeth can tip, drift, or extrude into the empty spaces, causing both aesthetic and functional problems within your mouth. If you have missing teeth, visit a doctor for dental bridges and partials to determine if these options are right for you.
A dental bridge is designed to literally bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth. A bridge is usually comprised of two or more crowns fused together and cemented to the teeth adjacent to the space. Seeking a doctor for dental bridges to replace missing teeth in adults is an affordable, sound way to restore your smile.
Bridges are designed to restore the esthetics of your smile and the functionality of your mouth, allowing you to eat and speak properly. They help to maintain the shape of your face so that the cheeks do not sink in areas where teeth are missing. Bridges can help distribute biting forces more evenly by replacing missing teeth in adults. In addition, they can prevent teeth from drifting out of position.
Like crowns, seeing a doctor for dental bridges often requires three office visits. During the first visit, the teeth that serve as abutments, which are those on either side of the missing tooth, are prepared for their crown. The enamel on each tooth is removed to allow room for the crown material. After the tooth has been reshaped, an impression of the area will be made. These impressions are used to fabricate a custom bridge. Your doctor for dental bridges may make a temporary bridge for you to wear in order to protect the exposed teeth and gums while your bridge is being made. Manufacturing the bridge usually takes about two to three weeks.
During your second visit, we will check the health of your tissue. Healthy gums ensure most effective cementation of the bridge. If the gums were not healthy enough to take the impression at your first visit, it can be done during this appointment to ensure an accurate fit. The metal framework of the bridge is often tried in at this time, as well.
At your last visit, the permanent bridge will be adjusted as necessary and permanently cemented in place. Your bite will be checked and you will be advised on how to provide daily care for your new dental bridge.
Removable partial dentures are a less permanent method designed to replace missing teeth in adults. Partial dentures are fabricated from metal fused with resin, all resin, or a flexible lightweight plastic material. Depending upon the type of partial that is recommended, either metal or plastic clasps are used to hold it in place to adjacent teeth.
Partials usually require two or more visits, with follow up adjustments in the future. They typically need to be replaced every five to seven years. The first visit is very simple and involves taking impressions, or molds, of your upper and lower arches. From these molds, stone models are made and sent to a dental lab along with specific instructions for fabricating your partial denture. A few weeks later, you will return to the office to try in and take home your removable partial denture. Further adjustments will be made as needed.
Removable partial dentures are an affordable way to replace missing teeth in adults until a more permanent solution can be obtained.