Dental Bridges: An Overview
A dental bridge is often the solution for replacing one or several consecutive missing teeth. They can be secured to your existing teeth, or dental implants. Today’s dental bridges are secure, comfortable and made to blend with the aesthetics of your smile.
Dr. O’Malley will meet with you to evaluate your dental health needs and discuss your cosmetic goals before recommending a restorative treatment plan for placing a dental bridge to restore your smile. He will work with you to determine if the use of dental implants is best for a lasting and stable result, depending on the health and integrity of your existing teeth.
A bridge uses crowns to remain firmly in place. We will create artificial teeth, known as pontics, to replace your missing ones. Attached to each end will be a dental crown. We then prepare the teeth on either side of the gap and place the crowns on them, anchoring the new ones in place.
We can also use dental implants to replace missing teeth. We can use implants to secure a bridge, so we don’t need to prepare surrounding teeth. For a single tooth we can also a dental implant instead of a bridge. Implants can last much longer and don’t require losing tooth structure of healthy teeth. However, the healing process can mean the patient goes without a restoration on the implant for a period of months.
We will examine your smile to choose the best tooth loss solution. We will carefully examine your smile, assessing a number of different factors to decide which option will best address your tooth loss.
Dental Bridges vs Dental Implants
With evolving treatment options for the replacement of lost teeth, Dr. O’Malley takes time to evaluate your needs, listen to your cosmetic goals, and make recommendations. Our goal is to improve the long-term stability of your smile.
Dental implants, or an implant-secured dental bridge, is often the recommended treatment for achieving the most natural results. Dental implants replace not only the biting surface of the lost tooth, but also the tooth root structure. This helps maintain healthy bone in the jaw. Dr. O’Malley can discuss how dental implants can benefit your smile and meet your unique needs when choosing a tooth replacement treatment.
Dental Bridges What to Expect
The dental bridge process will begin with a consultation, which may include digital diagnostics to be used in treatment planning. If dental implants are to be used to secure your dental bridge, the surgical implantation of the posts will be the first step in the process. In other cases, dental crowns may be placed on adjacent natural teeth to strengthen and stabilize them and support the new bridge.
Once the implant posts have healed or the natural teeth have been prepped as anchors, dental impressions will be taken for designing your bridge. A temporary bridge can be placed to provide function and allow you to get used to the feel of your new smile. When the final restoration is complete, Dr. O’Malley will secure the bridge and provide care instructions to help you maintain the integrity of your bridge for many years.