Advanced tooth decay, significant fractures, and deep cracks can sometimes be so severe that the tooth simply cannot be saved, and needs to be extracted. Even after your gums have completely healed, an extracted tooth can compromise your mouth in a variety of ways. At first it might only limit your ability to chew food or possibly slur your speech. Over time the neighboring teeth can start to twist, turn, and move to fill the void created by the lost tooth.
In a situation like this, Dr. Barry LeJeune will often recommend having the extracted tooth completely restored by installing a bridge. A bridge is a single piece of dental work that basically mimics the appearance of a natural tooth. The bridge is mounted onto abutments formed on the neighboring two teeth.
First the dentist will need to form a pair of abutments out of each of the neighboring teeth. This is done by removing the majority of enamel layer of each tooth, leaving a small amount surrounding the dentin layer and root. A temporary crown is then placed over each abutment to protect them.
Your dentist will then form an impression of the area and the bite pattern of the corresponding teeth. This will be sent to the dental lab that creates your custom bridge.
When the dental lab has finished your permanent bridge, LeJeune Family Dentistry will call you back in for a short second appointment. The temporary crowns are removed and your new permanent bridge is cemented in place over the abutments.
If you have recently had a tooth extracted, and you would like to explore your restoration options, you should not hesitate to call LeJeune Family Dentistry at (757) 827-9114 to schedule an appointment.