You are likely a candidate for a dental bridge if you are missing one or more teeth. Your dentist may offer both traditional and implant-supported bridges. Dentist can often convert existing traditional bridges into an implant-supported restoration for superior stability.
Dental Bridges: An Effective Solution for Missing Teeth
A dental bridge is made of several crowns fused together and is designed to fill a gap in your smile left by one or two missing teeth. Your dentist and his team provide patients with custom-made dental bridges at their dental practice. These restorations can look lifelike, and natural next to your other teeth while they restore function to your smile.
Candidates for Dental Bridges
A dental crown is a cap that covers the visible part of a damaged tooth. Crowns can effectively preserve tooth structure and restore lost teeth. A dental crown can:
- Prevent a weak tooth from breaking
- Preserve a cracked tooth
- Restore a broken, worn, or misshaped tooth
- Restore a dental implant for a missing tooth
The bonding material and cement that we use to apply crowns at our practice are of the highest quality, ensuring comfort and durability. Your crown will also be custom-made to guarantee that it matches the shade and size of your other teeth.
Both Functional and Aesthetic
A dental bridge offers a variety of functional and aesthetic benefits. Missing teeth can affect your alignment, which can lead to conditions that affect your bite and jaw alignment, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Gaps of missing teeth can also affect your speaking ability and how you chew. By replacing these teeth, we can reduce your risk of TMJ disorder, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and bone loss, while improving your ability to speak properly. Both traditional and implant-supported bridges offer a great deal of comfort and stability to prevent your remaining teeth from shifting.
By filling the gaps in your smile, we can also provide support to your facial structures, which prevents the appearance of sunken, sagging, and drooping facial tissues. With a natural-looking, lifelike restoration, you can smile with confidence, knowing your bridge is virtually indistinguishable from the rest of your smile.
During a consultation with your dentist, he will discuss your goals with you and carefully examine your teeth and gums to determine your candidacy for either a traditional or implant-supported bridge. Together, you will choose the type of material you would like to use for your bridge. While metal options such as gold and silver are available, most patients prefer porcelain or zirconia options, which we can match to the shade of your surrounding teeth for a natural look.
The Treatment Process
If you will receive a traditional bridge, your dentist will prepare your surrounding teeth by resizing and reshaping them to accommodate the crowns of the bridge. We will then take highly accurate impressions of your teeth and gums. These impressions are used to design and create your bridge. Your dentist can place a temporary restoration to protect your altered teeth because it can take up to two weeks for the dental lab to create your permanent bridge.Once we receive your bridge, you will return to your dentist office to attach it to your teeth. Using durable, safe materials, he will affix the bridge and the attached crowns to your surrounding teeth. He will check to ensure your bite is properly aligned and that your bridge feels comfortable and looks natural.
If you opt for an implant-supported bridge, you will need to have dental implants surgically placed in your jaw. It can take three to six months to heal after your surgery. Once healed, your permanent bridge is affixed to the implants with abutment pieces.