Besides affecting your overall oral health, missing teeth can make it hard for you to smile without feeling self-conscious, or to enjoy the foods you love. At Dynamic Smile Design, we have several treatment options to help repair your smile.
A fixed dental bridge is an affordable option that works well for most people. There are different types of bridges, and each is appropriate for a different situation. After your consultation, Dr Patel will explain your options and work out a treatment plan that corrects your smile and gives you better stability for all of your teeth.
- Traditional Bridges: If the teeth surrounding your missing tooth are damaged, Dr. Patel may recommend a traditional bridge to repair all of your teeth. Traditional bridges are secured to dental crowns on either side of the missing spot, so that three teeth in a row look perfect.
- Cantilever Bridges: If you are missing several very visible teeth, a cantilever bridge may be more appropriate. These bridges take their support from one side, and since they have less support, are usually used for teeth near the front of the mouth rather than molars which sustain the most stress.
- Implant Supported Bridges: A dental implant can be placed and used to support a fixed bridge. This helps prevent additional bone loss in the jaw. A single implant can support 2 or more replacement teeth.
- Bonded Bridges: Bonded bridges are composed of a natural looking porcelain tooth with wings that attach to nearby natural teeth. These wings can be made from metal or porcelain, and can be colored to blend in with surrounding dental structures before being bonded to the adjacent teeth.
Benefits of Fixed Bridges
Using a dental bridge to replace one or more missing teeth is a semi-permanent option, depending on the type of bridge chosen and the method of anchoring. Implant supported bridges last the longest — potentially the rest of your life — while bridges attached by clasps or bonding will usually need reseating after five or ten years. Benefits of bridges include:
- Stability. Unlike traditional dentures, which can become dislodged easily, fixed bridges stay solidly in place. This means you can focus on enjoying your food, your conversations, and your life, instead of worrying about your teeth coming loose.
- Stress distribution. Since fixed bridges are custom designed for your mouth, they help to distribute force evenly when you bite down, which protects your surrounding teeth.
- A Natural Look. Bridges can be colored, shaped, and positioned to look identical to the teeth they are replacing. This means you won’t have to explain a sudden dental transformation to family and friends.
- Prevention of Bone Loss. Your teeth, gums, and jaw stay strong through the stimulation of chewing and talking. Unfortunately, if you leave gaps open or use traditional dentures, this stimulation doesn’t occur, and your jawbone can recess and fail to support remaining teeth. Dental bridges supported by dental implants provide stimulation, which can keep your bone strong and healthy.
After you have fixed bridges placed, you will be able to eat and talk normally instead of worrying about your teeth.
The Fixed Bridge Process
Before Dr. Patel recommends treatment, she will assess your general oral health by prescribing any necessary x-rays and carefully examining your teeth. If you are a good candidate for fixed bridges, Dr. Patel will prepare the neighboring teeth for the procedure, and take impressions of your mouth. The impressions will be used in the lab to design a natural, beautiful bridge. In the meantime, you’ll be given a temporary bridge to fill any gap.
After the bridge comes in from the lab, you will be asked to return to our office for placement. Dr. Patel will then make final adjustments to ensure a perfect fit, and you will be ready to eat, smile, and speak with confidence.
If you think a fixed bridge could restore your smile, please contact us office and schedule a consultation.