What is a Dental Bridge?
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.
Dental bridges are a versatile restoration option that offers several important benefits, such as:
- Allow you to chew normally and eat all your favorite foods
- Fill gaps in your smile for improved aesthetics
- Preserve your youthful facial proportions
- Keep natural teeth from shifting out of alignment
- Improve overall oral health
- Restore your ability to speak clearly
A traditional bridge is anchored in place using abutments attached to the natural teeth on either end of the bridge. These anchor teeth are capped with dental crowns. Pontics, or false teeth, are held in place by a restoration that spans the gap. These bridges are often constructed of porcelain fused to metal, designed to match your nearby teeth so that you can smile confidently. A traditional dental bridge will last many years, though at some point it will need to be replaced because of normal wear and tear.
Implant-supported bridges offer more security while also strengthening and preserving the jaw bone. Titanium posts which are surgically implanted in the jaw serve as replacement tooth roots for teeth that have been extracted or fallen out. An implant-supported bridge will still restore your ability to chew and speak comfortably, but like traditional restorations, it will need to be replaced eventually. Implants, on the other hand, are a permanent fixture that can last the rest of your life.
Implant-supported bridges offer more security while also strengthening and preserving the jaw bone.
Placing the Restoration
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.
Traditional or Fixed Dental Bridges
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. Then 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. At your second appointment, your doctor will replace the temporary bridge and cement the permanent bridge in place.
Receiving an implant-supported bridge 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.
At Gulch Dental Studio, we are dedicated to providing outstanding care and beautiful results. We always prioritize your needs and goals, taking the time to thoroughly explain your dental health status, treatment options, and expected outcome. To find out more about dental bridges and how they can benefit you, email our office to schedule an appointment.