Missing teeth can make it difficult to chew and smile comfortably, which can dramatically impact your quality of life. Bridges are designed to bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth and are typically comprised of two or more crowns fused together and attached to the surrounding teeth. A bridge (also known as a fixed partial denture) is planned when one or more teeth are missing and there are healthy teeth on both sides of the open space. The healthy adjacent teeth, called abutments, provide support on either side — just like a bridge spanning a canyon. A traditional dental bridge can last many years, though at some point it will need to be replaced because of normal wear and tear.
Dental bridges are common ways to replace missing teeth in adults. If teeth that have been lost are not replaced, the remaining teeth can tip, drift, or extrude into the empty spaces, causing both aesthetic and functional problems within your mouth. With proper care, your new bridge will increase your overall health and instill confidence for years to come.
Dental bridges need to be supported by natural teeth or implants. Good hygiene habits are very important for patients who are considering a dental bridge because the supporting teeth of the bridge must be well maintained. If you smoke, have weak supporting teeth, or other periodontal issues, Dr. Masone will most likely explore other options.
Types of Dental Bridges
Removable Dental Bridges are typically reserved as a short term solution for missing teeth because it does not offer good long term benefits and frequently requires replacement or repair.
Fixed Dental Bridges are connected to two dental crowns which cover the teeth on either side of the gap. This treatment option requires the adjacent teeth to be reduced to accommodate the crown as a foundation for the bridgework. This may not be an issue if the neighboring teeth already have dental crowns or large dental fillings. However, if the teeth are in good health, a dental bridge could put unneeded stress on the teeth, making them likely to need dental work in the future.
Benefits of Bridges:
Restore your smile
Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
Maintain the shape of your face
Properly distribute the forces in your bite by replacing missing teeth
Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Dental Bridges Can Replace Consecutive Missing Teeth
Single Missing Teeth
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.
Additional Missing Teeth
If you are missing more than three teeth in a row, Dr. Masone can determine whether a bridge or a partial denture is the best solution.
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
Building A Bridge
If you have one missing tooth, your bridgework will require three crowns. Two of those crowns will cover abutment teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth. These two crowned abutment teeth will then become supports for a third crown placed in between them, filling in the empty space. This arrangement is known as a three-unit bridge.
If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be needed to bridge the gap in between the abutment teeth; in fact, more abutment teeth may also be needed. There are several variables to take into account in this calculation: the number of missing teeth, the size, and length of the abutment tooth
roots, the amount of bone support each abutment tooth has, as well as where in the mouth the teeth were lost.
For example, if you have three missing teeth, four abutment teeth may be necessary, thereby creating a seven-tooth bridge. Engineering and designing the bridge requires an understanding not only of how to replace teeth, but also of the biology of tooth-supporting gum and bone tissue.
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.
Though our bridges and all the materials we use at Denture & Dental Services are of the highest quality and durability, you will still need to practice good oral hygiene and attend regular dental check-ups at our practice. The materials used to create bridges are not susceptible to decay and infection like natural teeth, however, you should avoid bad habits that could damage your restoration. For example, 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.
Get the quality you deserve at the price you can afford. The experts at Denture and Dental Services in Destin will present you with your options to help you choose the denture that is best suited to your individual needs and lifestyle. We want to make the life-changing, long-lasting benefits of restorative and cosmetic dentistry accessible.
Our team of dedicated professionals will work closely with you to design a treatment that suits your needs, budget, and end goals. Going to the dentist is an investment in time and money, and we want you to be thrilled with your final outcome. We will explain all your options and their advantages and drawbacks. At Denture & Dental Services, we will work hard to deliver a result that goes above and beyond your expectations!
There is no substitute for experience. Call today to schedule your free consult at (850)-650-7979 and see the difference 35 years of experience and care can make in your life.