Dental bridges are used to form a "bridge across a space in the mouth that previously had a tooth. This space will be occupied with a fake tooth commonly known as a pontic while the tooth on the left and right of the pontic will be crowned. A bridge can have one or more pontic; however, the adjacent teeth must be present and healthy to hold the bridge in place. Patients who lose teeth due to decay, gum disease, or systemic condition should replace the empty space with a pontic to prevent the remaining teeth from shifting out of their spaces.
If the remaining teeth do shift, the patient's function will change because the teeth will began to move in non-ideal position, crowding may occur, and pain with all the moving of the teeth may result. These changes will lead to more structural damage to the oral cavity then if the empty space was resolved after the missing tooth. If you or your child have a missing permanent tooth and would like to know more about a dental bridge, contact NexGen Dentistry in National City, California to speak to our knowledgeable dentist.