The Benefits of Bridges
Bridges can restore your ability to smile confidently and eat the foods you love. Dental bridges are often used when a patient is missing one or more teeth adjacent to each other. Instead of replacing each tooth individually, one prosthetic can be made.
A dental bridge is especially useful if you clench or grind your teeth. The stresses from this action can be spread out among the prosthetic, whereas it could cause single dental implants to become dislodged. Dental bridges can withstand this because their support is spread among multiple teeth.
Most dentists use realistic-looking crowns and prosthetic teeth for their bridges, so you don’t have to worry about people being able to tell that you’ve lost teeth. You also never have to take them out because they’re permanently fixed.
But when it comes to choosing your bridges, there are a couple of options. They mainly fall into two categories: traditional bridges and implant-supported bridges.
Traditional bridges are the most popular option among people with multiple missing teeth. They consist of two crowns placed over the natural teeth on both sides of your missing tooth. The crowns will be attached to your new tooth and support it.
Because your natural teeth will support your bridge, they and your gums need to be in healthy condition. Many dentists offer tooth and gum restoration options, so you’ll be able to receive your bridge after your oral health is in better condition.
Preparing Your Teeth for Crowns
At your first appointment, your natural teeth will be prepared for crowns. For a crown to fit over your tooth, a small part of its enamel must be removed. Otherwise, the crown wouldn’t be able to fit comfortably in your mouth. But dentists like Dr. Mark Rangel can assure you that your natural teeth will remain healthy.
After your teeth are prepared, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth so your permanent prosthetic can be created. Usually, you’ll have to come back for a second appointment to have your bridge placed. In the meantime, you’ll receive a temporary bridge.
Implant-supported bridges are the most sturdy and stable option for people missing more than one adjacent tooth, according to dentists like Dr. Albert Internoscia. Instead of crowns over your natural teeth, this type of prosthetic is supported by dental implants.
Dental implants are a tooth replacement option that’s surgically attached to your jaw, so the process takes a longer amount of time. The benefit is that a dental implant is the closest you can get to having a natural tooth.
Implants can be used when you have three or more missing teeth because two of those missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants. The implant-supported bridge process is longer than the traditional bridge process due to the extra procedures to secure your new teeth.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Implants require a strong jawbone in order to succeed. If you’ve been missing teeth for a while, you might need a supplemental procedure. The aim of these procedures is to restore jawbone density and strength so your implant is more likely to succeed.
Most implant dentists, like Dr. Douglas Wirth, perform supplemental procedures so you won’t have to see another doctor. He can conveniently perform the procedure you need in his office.
Some people don’t require supplemental procedures to have their dental implant fixture placed. The fixture acts as the roots of your new tooth; it’s normally made out of titanium because of the material’s tendency to create a strong bond with natural bone.
After your fixture is placed, the site will need some time to heal and create that bond. This is why the dental implant process can take so long, but this step is very important. It can take many months before you’re ready for your permanent implants to be placed.
It’s after you’re done healing and the fixture is in place that your implant-supported bridge can complete your smile.
Which One Should You Choose?
Both bridge options are popular and will enable you to live your life with ease. They can enable you to be confident in your smile again so you don’t have to be afraid to enjoy yourself. You can also speak and eat properly, so you’ll be able to say goodbye to limitations.
Ultimately, which dental bridge option you get is up to you. Your dentist may be able to make a recommendation based on your oral health and the position of your missing teeth.