Missing teeth can make it difficult to chew and smile comfortably, which can dramatically impact your quality of life.
At Gulch Dental Studio, our doctors offer both traditional and implant-supported dental bridges to restore our patients' smiles.
So why should you consider a dental bridge placed at our Nashville, TN, practice?
Replace Missing Teeth & Improve Your Bite
Dental bridges are a versatile restorative option that offers several important benefits, such as:
Missing teeth can make it difficult or painful to eat, but dental bridges allow you to chew normally and eat all your favorite foods. Because missing teeth can also affect how you enunciate, bridges can also restore your ability to speak clearly.
Preventing Additional Issues
Dental bridges can help keep your teeth from shifting out of alignment. They also prevent additional tooth loss. Patients who choose implant-supported bridges enjoy additional benefits because this solution prevents the jaw atrophy that follows tooth loss.
A Better-Looking Smile
Because a dental bridge fills the gap in your smile, it can deliver improved aesthetics. An implant-supported restoration can also help maintain your facial proportions.
Don't Be Embarrassed - You Are Not Alone
Dental Bridges Can Replace Consecutive Missing Teeth
Single Missing Tooth
A traditional dental bridge can be used to replace a single missing tooth. You can also elect to replace the tooth with an implant-supported dental crown.
Two to Three Missing Teeth
If you are missing two to three teeth in a row, a bridge can fill the gap to complete your smile.
Additional Missing Teeth
If you are missing more than three teeth in a row, your dentist can determine whether a bridge or a partial denture is the best solution.
To Qualify for a Dental Bridge, You Should Be:
In Good Oral Health
Prior to placing a dental bridge, our doctors will need to treat any preexisting oral health concerns such as gum disease or tooth decay.
Committed to Good Oral Hygiene
Although the material used to craft bridges is stain-resistant and highly durable, you will still need to brush twice a day, floss daily, and attend your regular dental checkups to get the most out of this solution.
In Good Overall Health
If you are opting for an implant-supported restoration, you will need to be healthy enough to undergo oral surgery.
Traditional vs. Implant-Supported Bridges
A traditional bridge is anchored in place using crowns attached to the teeth on either side of the gap. These bridges are often constructed of porcelain fused to metal, and are designed to match your nearby teeth so that your smile looks natural. A traditional dental bridge can last many years, though at some point it will need to be replaced because of normal wear and tear.
Meanwhile, implant-supported bridges are held in place by titanium posts that are surgically implanted in the jaw. Dental implants serve as replacement tooth roots. An implant-supported bridge can restore your ability to chew and speak comfortably, but like a traditional bridge, it will need to be replaced eventually. The implants themselves can last the rest of your life with proper care.
Implant-supported bridges are widely considered the gold standard in tooth replacement because they prevent jawbone recession and require no alteration of healthy teeth.
Sedation Is Available
Our Nashville practice understands that some patients feel anxious about their treatment. Many people find that local anesthetic is sufficient to numb the treatment area. However, our practice also offers three types of dental sedation:
We will discuss the benefits and limitations of each type during your initial consultation. We encourage our patients to be upfront with us about anything we can do to help them feel more comfortable.
What Are the Steps to Receive a Traditional Bridge?
Once you and your doctor have determined that a dental bridge is the right treatment for you and have decided which type will work best, we can set up a customized treatment plan.
Prepare the Teeth
At your first appointment, your dentist will prepare the adjacent teeth for your dental bridge. This involves removing some of the enamel to make room for dental crowns.
Take Impressions & Place a Temporary Bridge
Your doctor will take precise impressions to send to our partner lab. In the meantime, while your dental bridge is being created, you will be provided with a temporary restoration to guard against sensitivity and maintain your appearance.
Receive Your Permanent Bridge
During your second appointment at our Nashville practice, your doctor will replace the temporary bridge and cement the permanent bridge in place.
Bridges Can Be Cared for Just Like Natural Teeth
Although the materials used to create bridges are not susceptible to decay and infection like natural teeth, you will still need to practice good oral hygiene and attend regular dental check-ups at our Nashville practice.
You should also avoid bad habits that could damage your restoration, such as chewing on ice or opening packages with your teeth. If your bridge requires any special tools, such as a floss threader, we can provide instructions for you.
More Information on Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is used to literally bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be supported by adjacent crowns or dental implants, which offer more support and durability.
Receiving an implant-supported bridge at our Nashville practice is somewhat similar to a traditional or fixed bridge, but the treatment process takes longer since you will need to undergo surgery and a healing period. The titanium posts typically require three to six months to fuse with your jawbone, which is an important step for long-lasting results. Once this phase is complete, your doctor can take impressions of your teeth and have your bridge created to match the shade of your other teeth and your natural bite. The bridge will then be attached to the top of the implant posts.