Dr. Babak Joobbani and Dental Bridges
When a tooth or teeth are missing, there are a few ways to replace them. One option is a dental bridge. A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is made to replace one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges must be supported on both sides in order to function properly. Bridges can be supported in any of three ways: natural teeth, implants, or a combination of both.
A traditional bridge is made by creating a crown for the teeth on either side of the space and placing a false tooth or teeth between the crowns. The crowns, sometimes called caps, can be supported by natural teeth or by implants. The false tooth or teeth are attached to the crowns and fill the empty space.
Natural teeth receiving the crowns need to be reduced in size and strong enough to support the bridge. Traditional bridges are made either of porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or ceramic material. At our Columbia dentist office, Dr. Joobbani strives to achieve the most natural and esthetic results and therefor uses non-metal restorations. Porcelain fused to metal bridges can show metal at the gum line and over time gray the gingiva as well. They also have a higher chance of fracturing. Modern ceramic and zirconia bridges are very strong and are as durable if not more as the traditional metal supported bridges.
Getting a bridge requires at least two visits. At the first visit, your dentist prepares the teeth and covers them with temporary crowns. The dentist will also make impressions of the teeth to send to a lab to fabricate your final bridge in a color that will match your remaining teeth. The bridge is then fit and cemented at your next visit. Bridges can last many years if properly maintained. A major reason bridges fail is that new cavities develop on the supporting teeth. These cavities occur because of poor oral hygiene. With proper hygiene, which includes flossing your teeth under the bridge, they will last longer.
Each missing tooth scenario is different. Leaving a missing tooth space in the mouth is detrimental to the health of the remaining teeth and lead to a number of other major dental issues. If you are missing a tooth or section of teeth, contact our dentist office in Columbia, MD to set up an appointment to discuss your case with Dr. Joobbani. He will show you different treatment options and you can choose one that best suits your situation.