How dental bridges live up to their name: Bridging the gaps in your smile!

Gaps in your smile where teeth used to be can make you feel less than your best. Furthermore, tooth loss has big implications for your overall health. After all, we need our teeth to remain healthy. They support proper chewing and vital functions such as digestion. 

For these and other reasons, your destination for total family dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin, encourages prompt replacement of missing or failing teeth. When a tooth cannot be “saved” through root canal therapy or other means, our cosmetic bridges at McKinney Dental provide a reliable and welcome method to restore the appearance and healthy function of the smile. 

Bridging the gap 

Dr. Dan McKinney may recommend a bridge to replace one tooth or several teeth. The bridge is made up of the following parts: 

  • The pontic or replacement tooth – One pontic may be all you need. Or, several pontics may be necessary for patients missing more teeth. 
  • Crowned abutment or anchor teeth – The teeth next to the pontic function as “anchors.” They hold the pontic in place. To provide optimal support, these abutments are crowned. A basic, three-unit bridge includes two dental crowns and the pontic or replacement tooth. 

The crowns are fused to the pontics. Once the permanent dental bridge has been made by our lab, Dr. McKinney secures the crowns to the neighboring anchor teeth. These teeth have been slightly reduced to make room for the crowns. This is a typical step in the crown procedure; the natural tooth is reshaped to accommodate the crown or cap that fits on top of it. After the crowns are in place, the pontic(s) fills the gaps and effectively replace the tooth.  

A few pointers

Dental bridges can last for many years with consistent home care and regular visits to our office for professional cleanings and exams. It is essential for you to properly clean underneath the bridge. Failure to do so can threaten the health of the anchor teeth and can lead to the loss of the bridge. We may advise on special brushes and floss to clean the tight spaces between the pontic and crowns. We can guide you through and demonstrate effective techniques for cleaning your new bridge with ease.

Schedule your appointment today! Bridges are a fantastic way to complete a broken smile and to quickly provide a whole-health boost by restoring chewing, speech, and other essential functions. We look forward to acquainting you with both “conventional” and implant-supported bridges or denture options for tooth replacement. Call (608) 249-6511 to reach the McKinney Dental team in Madison, WI. The sooner we can fill those gaps, the better off you will be because we can prevent or halt destructive processes like bone loss in the jaw.